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Understanding the Sociology of Health

Understanding the Sociology of Health
An Introduction

Fourth Edition
Additional resources:

December 2016 | 352 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Understanding the Sociology of Health continues to offer an easy to read introduction to sociological theories essential to understanding the current health climate. Up-to-date with key policy and research, and including case studies and exercises to critically engage the reader, this book shows how sociology can answer complex questions about health and illness, such as why health inequalities exist.


To better help with your studies this book contains:

·         a global perspective with international examples;

·         a new chapter on health technologies;

·         online access to videos of the author discussing key topics as well as recommended further readings;

·         a glossary, chapter summaries and reflective questions to help you engage with the subject.


Though aimed primarily at students on health and social care courses and professions allied to medicine, this textbook provides valuable insights for anyone interested in the social aspects of health.


Section 1 – Theories, Perspectives and Concepts
Chapter 1 – Sociological Theory: Explaining and Theorising
Chapter 2 – Understanding Health
Chapter 3 – A Brief History of Health and Healing
Chapter 4 - Evidence and Enquiry: an Overview of Sociological Research
Section 2 – Key Themes
Chapter 5 – Inequality and Health
Chapter 6 – Gender and health
Chapter 7 –Ethnicity, Migration and Health
Chapter 8 – Mental Health and Emotional Distress
Chapter 9 – Sexualities and Health (with Megan Todd)
Chapter 10 – Sociology of the Body: Chronic Illness and Disability
Chapter 11 – Health, Ageing and the Life Course
Section 3 - Contexts
Chapter 12 – Place of care
Chapter 13 – Health Policy
Chapter 14 – Sport, Health Exercise and Wellbeing
Chapter 15 – Death and Dying
Chapter 16 – Health Technologies

Good for stretching the students into a broader way of thinking around the social determinants of health.

Mrs Miriam Collett
Nursing, Midwifery, Social Work & Social Sciences, Salford University
January 12, 2021

Excellent overview of sociology of health useful for those who are studying to become a health professional.

Dr Laetitia Zeeman
Nursing and Midwifery (Brighton), Brighton University
November 11, 2016

This is an accessible, and informative book which introduces and explains the key themes of the subject

Ms Rebecca Thorley
The Lifelong Learning Institute, Leeds University
November 8, 2016

This may be a good book in terms of the relationship society-body-health but I lead a Global Health Course and in my opinion the book falls short of exploring complex societal issues and the relationship to the body and health in various contexts (e.g. complexity and heterogeneity aspects of the relationship society-health)

Dr Mei Trueba
Health , Brighton and Sussex Medical School
October 12, 2016

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Chapter 1

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