197 Outcome: The Social Construction of Health

Describe the social construction of health and the theoretical perspectives on health and medicine

Medical sociology is the systematic study of how humans manage issues of health and illness, disease and disorders, and healthcare for both the sick and the healthy. In this section, you’ll learn about the importance of medical practices and how the social construction of health explains how society both shapes and is shaped by medical ideas.

What you’ll learn to do:

  • Define medical sociology and the sick role
  • Understand the difference between the cultural meaning of illness, the social construction of illness, and the social construction of medical knowledge
  • Apply functionalist, conflict theorist, and interactionist perspectives to health issues

Learning Activities

The learning activities for this section include:

  • Reading: The Cultural Significance of Health
  • Reading: Theoretical Perspectives on Health and Medicine
  • Self-Check: The Social Construction of Health


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