Health

Health

Under construction – regular updates

The social construction of health, illness, disability and the body, and models of health and illness

Includes concepts such as the biomedical model, medicalisation, iatrogenesis, social models and impairment.

Social and cultural definitions of health, illness,
disability and the body

Strengths and limitations of these approaches.

The unequal social distribution of health chances in the United Kingdom by social class, gender, ethnicity and region

Differences in patterns of health chances by
social class, gender, ethnicity and region.

Reasons why some groups have higher/lower
rates of illness than others, including cultural,
behavioural and material factors.

Inequalities in the provision of, and access to, health care in contemporary society

The nature, including inequalities, of health care
in contemporary society.

The patterns of inequalities in access to that
health care in relation to age, disability,
ethnicity, gender, region and social class.

Explanations for inequalities in access to that
health care in relation to age, disability,
ethnicity, gender, region and social class.

The nature and social distribution of mental illness

Mental illness as a social construction.

Sociological views on the nature and causes of
the social distribution of mental illness by social
class, gender and ethnicity

Biomedical, structural and interactionist
approaches

The role of medicine, the health professions and the globalised health industry

Sociological views on the power of the medical
profession, eg functionalist, feminist,
interactionist, Marxist, Weberian and
postmodernist.

Changes in the role of medicine and the power
of the medical profession in contemporary
society.

The role of the global health industry, eg the
role of ‘big pharma’.

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