Currently accepting graduate students - Yes

  • Master's
  • PhD


  • SOC 1200 - Introduction to Sociology
  • SOC 2490 - The Sociology of Health and Illness
  • SOC 2450 - The Sociology of the Body
  • SOC 3540 - The Sociology of Health Care Systems
  • SOC 7370 - Issues in Health Care


Christopher J. Fries is a social and behavioural health scientist who is interested in understanding relationship amongst social location, culture, embodiment, health beliefs, health behaviour and personal and structural health determinants and outcomes. He has published sociological research investigating: the social determinants of health; health lifestyles; medicalization; use of complementary / alternative medicine; the relationship between ethnicity and the use of alternative healing practices; multiculturalism; family physicians' opinions of alternative medical therapies; the emergence of integrative medicine; and salutogenic theory and practice. He is the co-author of a leading Canadian textbook of health sociology (Oxford University Press, 2nd edition, 2017) which has been adopted for health studies and health sociology courses in more than 20 Canadian universities and colleges. 


  • PhD (Sociology), University of Calgary, 2006
  • MA (Sociology and Anthropology), University of Guelph, 1998
  • BA (Honours), University of Regina, 1996


Research interests

  • Health, health care, and society
  • Health lifestyles and self care
  • Salutogenesis 
  • Sociology of the body
  • Social determinants of health
  • Medicalization
  • Medical pluralism 

Research summary

Working from a sociological perspective, Dr. Christopher J. Fries studies salutogenic health and healing (the origins of health and wellness), health lifestyles and behaviour, embodiment, critical public health, the social determinants of health, medical pluralism and medicalization. 

Selected publications


Journal articles

  • Christopher J. Fries, John Serieux, and Nelson Oranye (2023). “A Salutary Welcome: The Role of Sense of Coherence and Generalized Resistance Resources in Refugee Settlement”, International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care.
  • Christopher J. Fries (2020b). “The Medicalization of Cancer as Socially Constructed and Culturally Negotiated”, Health Promotion International, 35(6), 1543-1550. 
  • Christopher J. Fries (2020a). “Healing Health Care: From Sick Care towards Salutogenic Healing Systems”, Social Theory & Health, 18(1), 16-32. 
  • Christopher J. Fries (2014). “Older Adults’ Use of Complementary and Alternative Medical Therapies to Resist Biomedicalization of Aging”, Journal of Aging Studies. 28: 1-10. 
  • Christopher J. Fries (2013). “Self-care and Complementary and Alternative Medicine as Care for the Self: An Embodied Basis for Distinction”, Health Sociology Review. 22(1): 37-51. 
  • Christopher J. Fries and Paul Gingrich (2011). “A ‘Great’ Large Family: Understandings of Multiculturalism among Newcomers to Canada”, Refuge: Canada’s Periodical on Refugees. 27(1): 36-49. 
  • Christopher J. Fries (2009). “Bourdieu’s Reflexive Sociology as a Theoretical Basis for Mixed Methods Research: An Application to Complementary and Alternative Medicine”, Journal of Mixed Methods Research. 3(4): 326-348.
  • Christopher J. Fries (2008). “Governing the Health of the Hybrid Self: Integrative Medicine, Neoliberalism, and the Shifting Biopolitics of Subjectivity”, Health Sociology Review. 17(4): 353-367. 
  • Christopher J. Fries (2008). “Classification of Complementary and Alternative Medical Practices: Family Physicians’ Ratings of Effectiveness’”, Canadian Family Physician. 54(11):1570-1578e.
  • Christopher J. Fries and James McNinch (2003). “Signed Versus Unsigned Student Evaluations of Teaching: A Comparison”, Teaching Sociology. 31(3): 333-344.

Book chapters

  • Christopher J. Fries (2012). “Ethnicity and the Use of “Accepted” and “Rejected” Complementary / Alternative Medical Therapies in Canada: Evidence from the Canadian Community Health Survey”, In J. J. Kronenfeld (ed.). Research in the Sociology of Health Care. (30): 113-131. Emerald. 


  • 2012 - Faculty Access Award, Student Affairs, University of Manitoba

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