Material Type:
Community College / Lower Division
Ohio Open Ed Collaborative
Oss0212, Sociology
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0
Media Formats:

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

Module Overview

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.

Section 1: Supplementary Material (Videos and Reading)

Sociology in Focus- The Sick Role Conflict
This is great summary of Parson’s concept of the sick role. The article describes the sick role and then explains how this concept can help us understand “other aspects of role theory.”

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.