An analysis of a sociological perspective to health and illness

Imagine a continuum with health on one end and death on the other. Along the continuum, people define themselves as healthy or sick on the basis of criteria established by themselves and relatives, friends, co-workers, and medical practitioners. Why is it that you may consider yourself sick or well when others do not agree? Who controls definitions of health and illness in our society, and for what ends?

An analysis of a sociological perspective to health and illness

An analysis of a sociological perspective to health and illness

The Black report Black, was not the first major work to address this issue, but it was a milestone, and since it appeared, publishing on the topic has increased considerably, beginning with a trickle during the s and becoming a flood since the mid s.

In the circumstances of such heightened interest and output, edited collections become both inevitable and necessary.

An analysis of a sociological perspective to health and illness

The volume under review joins at least two others, also high quality, published in the last two years [ Keating and Hertzman, The editors' thoughtful, clear introductory essay acknowledges the intellectual and political history of health inequalities research, and sketches the developments and debates within which the chapters are located.

The Black report confirmed that economic barriers to medical services were not the cause of inequalities in health outcomes. Subsequent research—especially longitudinal—has shown that the gradient is not simply an artefact of data collection, that it is not narrowing over time, and that selection does not explain what are complex interactions.

Most of the chapters in this section grapple with research showing how health inequalities prevail throughout the SES spectrum, not only among those suffering absolute material deprivation.

His perspective links directly with the paper by Wilkinson, Kawachi and Kennedy who are well-known contributors to this discourse.

Here they use data on US state crime rates and social capital to examine the nature of the social relationships of competition, disrespect and shame that give rise to violent crime which are, they suggest, closely connected to the psychosocial sources of ill health.

Contents, by volume and issue

The other two chapters in the first section mobilize a somewhat different but not necessarily conflicting approach. Usefully, however, their critique does not set up antagonistic dichotomies, but calls for an integration of the individual and the social, agency and structure, micro and macro.

They distinguish compositional and contextual effects, carefully disentangling the fact that similar people may live in the same neighbourhood composition from the possibility that the social and physical environment context contributes to the health of individuals within that environment.

Nettleton and Burrows describe the psychological and health consequences of the onset of mortgage debt and resulting housing insecurity, thus elaborating in detail one potential process contributing to patterned inequalities in health. He calls for a focus on ethnic identity which produces a much more intelligible analysis of the link between ethnicity and health because it considers such factors as the experience of racism and ghettoization.

Similarly, Cameron and Bernardes' study of prostate disease locates the multiplicity concealed within the falsely unitary categories of gender. Deficiencies in the conceptualization and measurement of the basic categories class, ethnicity, gender must be overcome if research is to advance and inform practical policy responses to health inequalities.

In its incarnation as a journal issue, this book contained no thematic sections. If there is an intellectual weakness in the collection, it is that the sections—particularly the first—do not hang together entirely comfortably. The move from journal to book also resulted in deletion of the abstracts which can be helpful, particularly for such complex and subtle material.

As far as I can discern, the book and journal issue are otherwise identical except for a short index, repagination and the unfortunate omission of Bernardes' name from the book's contents page. A frustration for consumers of this literature is its comparative parochialism, both national and intellectual.

Fortunately, this collection is somewhat more cosmopolitan than usual.

Social-Conflict Analysis of Health & Medicine Research Paper Starter -

While most contributors to the book are from English universities, there are also Dutch and Norwegian authors, although the only American names are co-authors with Wilkinson who is from Sussex.

That might not matter if more people read and thought carefully about work from other nations and intellectual traditions. Some participants in these debates advocate strongly held ideological positions which may undermine their capacity to consider the implications other perspectives might have for their own research and policy preferences.

As I have threaded my way through the books, reports and journals, I have occasionally wondered whether contesting authors are sometimes addressing different issues rather than arriving at different answers to the same question.Sociological Perspectives on Health and Illness; Sociological Perspectives on Health and Illness.

7 July sociologists continue to rely on Parsons’s model for functionalist analysis of the relationship between illness and societal expectations of the sick (Curry ).

Table summarizes four major sociological perspectives on. Sociology is the scientific study of society, patterns of social relationships, social interaction, and culture of everyday life. It is a social science that uses various methods of empirical investigation and critical analysis to develop a body of knowledge about social order, acceptance, and change or social sociologists aim to conduct research that may be applied directly to.

The sociology of health and illness, alternatively the sociology of health and wellness (or simply health sociology), examines the interaction between society and objective of this topic is to see how social life affects morbidity and mortality rate, and vice versa.


This aspect of sociology differs from medical sociology in that this branch of sociology discusses health and illness. This list of MPhil and PhD theses submitted in the Department of Anthropology since , and of MA theses up to , has been compiled from departmental records, the catalogue card index of theses in the BLPES and (for very early theses) the index in the Senate House library, and the University of London's serial publication, Subjects of dissertations and theses (from ).

Dear Twitpic Community - thank you for all the wonderful photos you have taken over the years. We have now placed Twitpic in an archived state. Sociological Perspectives on the Family SOC Introduction to Sociology Instructor: Jeanette Maxey August 15, Sociological Perspectives on the Family In the field of sociology, there are numerous approaches sociologists reflect on when studying humankind’s behavior.

An analysis of a sociological perspective to health and illness