Welcome Jane Pryma!

We are delighted to announce that Dr. Jane Pryma has joined our department.  Professor Pryma is a sociologist of health and medicine who received her PhD from Northwestern and comes to us from the University of Connecticut. She is teaching a special topics course (SO 208) on Gender & Health this semester. Welcome to BU Sociology!

What attracted you to BU and the BU Sociology Department?

The moment I stepped foot on BU’s campus, I could feel the vibrant energy of the university! I value the community-engaged research and learning that BU’s urban setting encourages. BU students are engaged, diverse, and motivated to apply their education to address social problems and issues of injustice. BU Sociology feels like the right scholarly home for me—I’m inspired by colleagues’ research, and there are many opportunities for dialogue across topics of health, politics, culture, and inequality.

What is your favorite class to teach? 

That’s a tough question—like choosing a favorite child! I love teaching social theory and sociology of health courses because both ask students to analyze how our social environments shape the kind of research that is produced about health and society. In other words, I like teaching courses from a sociology of knowledge perspective that prompts us to explore why it is we believe what we do about how our bodies and societies operate.

How did you decide to study healthcare policy in the U.S. and France? And does that mean you got to spend time in France? 

I compare healthcare policies and practices in the U.S. and France to better understand how two countries that started with similar agendas to provide better pain management to patients ended up treating pain differently, affecting how heavily each country has relied on opioids versus other pain management practices. The U.S. and France have different ways of thinking about healthcare as a right and making sense of social inequalities in health. I’m interested in understanding how these different national approaches impact how doctors have tried to address their patients’ suffering, and how they have responded to the opioid crisis. And, yes, I was lucky to spend over a year collecting data in France. I had a wonderful balance of fieldwork by day and indulging in great cheese and good company with local friends and scholars by evening.

What are you teaching in the Fall and what can students expect from your class?

I am teaching Introduction to Sociological Theories (SO203) and Gender & Health (SO208). My courses prioritize in-class discussion and plenty of opportunities for students to apply course material to explore topics that excite them.