Material Type:
Community College / Lower Division
Ohio Open Ed Collaborative
Oss0212, Sociology
Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial
Media Formats:

Apply the three major sociological perspectives to issues of health and illness


OER Text Materials 

Understanding and Changing the Social World, Section 18.1
Section 1, while brief, provides a fine overview of the sociological perspective on health and is appropriate for an introduction to sociology course. The three major sociological perspectives are applied to health in a clear and concise way. Key sociological concepts, such as Parson’s sick role, are introduced throughout the theory section. There is a lack of material on the social construction of health and illness. Supplemental material should address this topic as it is important to understanding health from a sociological perspective.

Supplementary Material (Videos and Reading)

YouTube "Sick Role Presentation"

A 4 minute video that describes the sick role.

Relating Social Theories to Medicine – Khan Academy (video)
Excellent ~10 minute video applying the three sociological paradigms to health and illness. It includes a good discussion of the social construction of health and illness.

“On Good and Bad Forms of Medicalization” in Bioethics
An interesting, but a bit challenging, article on medicalization. Medicalization is defined and a the medicalization of love is used as an illustration of how medicalization can be good and bad. It would generate great classroom discussion, but may need explained in a introductory course.