Health, Aging & Society

UVic sociologists study a range of issues related to health, aging and society.

Katelin Albert

Katelin Albert is a medical and health sociologist whose research interests include vaccination politics, health behaviours and health decision making, sexual health & sex-education, gendered health technologies (such as the HPV vaccine). Her analytical lens focuses on how people navigate personal health and safety decisions, parental understandings of responsibility for children’s health, sexual subjectivities across the life course, along with gendered norms in health practices and decision making. Recent projects include an investigation of B.C. residents’ COVID-19 vaccination attitudes and health behaviours, and explores what people do with public and scientific information (their health information practices) during the pandemic.

Margaret Penning

Dr. Penning’s research interests include aging, health and health care, aging and family life, care giving and care receiving, social networks and social support, and health care systems and health care reform. Within these areas, her research tends to focus on issues of marriage and family, informal and formal care in relation to chronic illness and disability in middle and later life, mental health and well-being, and structural inequalities in health and health care. 

Karen Kobayashi

Dr. Kobayashi is a social gerontologist who uses a life course perspective to explore the intersections of structural, cultural, and individual factors/experiences affecting health and aging in the Canadian population. Her scholarly interests lie broadly in the areas of family and intergenerational relationships, ethnicity and immigration, dementia and personhood, and health and social care.

André Smith

Dr. André Smith has research interests in the areas of aging, dementia, mental health, health policy, ethnicity, and blood donation. His research program reflects a desire to understand the intersectionality of health and health-related behavior and their wider socio-cultural, institutional, and familial dimensions.

Aaron Devor

Aaron Devor, PhD, initiated and holds the inaugural position as the world’s only Chair in Transgender Studies. His research focuses on transgender, non-binary, and Two-spirit people. He is Historian for the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) and is an author of versions of the WPATH Standards of Care for the Health of Transsexual, Transgender, and Gender Nonconforming People since 1999.

Garry Gray

Garry Gray was formerly a Research Fellow in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard School of Public Health, where he researched the influence of organizational culture on medical errors and ethical decision-making inside hospital settings. His research interests include criminology, institutional corruption, regulation and compliance, behavioural ethics, organizational culture, and health and safety.