Rachel Core

Associate Professor

Rachel Core teaches and researches how social conditions and factors, including access to preventive and tertiary health programming, affect health outcomes. In particular, Dr. Core researches how the rise and decline of the socialist work-unit system--a pervasive institution in urban China from the 1950s to the 1990s--affected the control of tuberculosis in Shanghai. Her work has implications for the control of COVID-19 and other emerging diseases in our increasingly interconnected world.

  • PhD, sociology, The Johns Hopkins University
  • MSc, development studies, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
  • BA, Asian studies, Carleton College


Rachel Core


Rachel Core is a medical and comparative-historical sociologist whose work focuses on how social and institutional changes affect health outcomes. Core is in the final stages of revising her book manuscript, A Great Leap Forward in Health, which examines why, after controlling TB successfully from the 1950s to the 1990s, China began facing TB control challenges at the same time it was becoming an economic superpower. The book provides evidence from the urban employment system in Shanghai to illustrate how a great leap forward in health was made. Her work has been supported by a Fulbright Fellowship, as well as the Taiwan Fellowship. At Stetson, Dr. Core teaches medical sociology classes and most of the Department's social change (Area 3) courses. One of her favorite courses to teach is the Junior Seminar, Examining a Pandemic, which investigates the way tuberculosis (and other epidemics) were viewed in the past, and the social factors that contribute to increased vulnerability to epidemics in the present day. Dr. Core enjoys working with students to develop their own undergraduate research projects, as well as introducing students to Asia. She leads a study abroad seminar called, "Population, Environment and Society in Asia." Dr. Core has spent ten years of her adult life overseas--eight years in greater China, one year in England, and a year in Singapore. She has the distinction of being the only Stetson faculty member to have served as a Cruise Director on the Yangtze River and to have taken Bollywood dance lessons in Singapore.

More About Rachel Core

Areas of Expertise

  • Health and society in contemporary China
  • Social construction and determinants of health
  • Comparative health systems
  • Social change in global Asia

Course Sampling

  • Population, Society, and Environment
  • Qualitative Research Methods
  • Sociology of Developing Societies
  • Examining a Pandemic: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Tuberculosis
  • Medicine and Health in Society
  • Methods and Styles of Social Science Research
  • Senior Project

  • Global health
  • Tuberculosis control
  • Organization of health care
  • History of public health in China

  • Core, Rachel. 2019. "Tuberculosis Control, Institutional Change and the Fundamental Causes of Disease in Shanghai: Continuity and Change in Pre- and Post-1949 Shanghai," American Journal of Chinese Studies 26(2).
  • Core, Rachel, Daniel Moscovici, and Pamela Waldron-Moore. 2019. "Faculty Reflections on Active Learning and Global Environmental Change." Faculty Resource Network (FRN) National Symposium Journal, published on-line on April 26, 2019.
  • Core, Rachel. 2019. "Exploring Global Social Inequality using a Visual Resource," Teaching Resources and Innovations Library for Sociology (TRAILS). Published on April 19, 2019.
  • Core, Rachel. 2017. "Assessing global learning in short-term study abroad: Population, Environment and Society in Shanghai." Teaching Sociology. 45(5): 399-408.
  • Core, Rachel. 2016. "The Fall and Rise of Tuberculosis: How institutional change affected health outcomes in Shanghai, 1927-2013." Fudan Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences 9(1): 65-90.
  • Core, Rachel, 2014. "Tuberculosis Control in Shanghai: Bringing Health to the Masses, 1928-present." In Bridie Andrews and Mary Bullock (Eds), Medical Transitions in Twentieth Century China. Bloomington: University of Indiana Press.