• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

This is the first international and inter-disciplinary social science Handbook on health and medicine. Five years in the making, and building on the insights and advice of an international editorial board, the book brings together world-class figures to provide an indispensable, comprehensive resource book on social science, health and medicine. Pinpointing the focal issues of research and debate in one volume, the material is organized into three sections: social and cultural frameworks of analysis; the experience of health and illness; and health care systems and practices. Each section consists of specially commissioned chapters designed to examine the vital conceptual and methodological practice and policy issues.

Classification and Process in Sociomedical Understanding: Towards a Multilevel View of Sociomedical Methodology
Classification and process in sociomedical understanding: Towards a multilevel view of sociomedical methodology

The various social sciences that contribute to the understanding of health, illness, and health systems employ a variety of research methodologies. In this chapter we distinguish between methodology and methods. By methods, we mean the particular data collection tools – such as surveys, interviews, observations, and the like – and the techniques of data analysis – such as statistical manipulations, content analysis, or coding schemes. Methodology, in contrast, is concerned with the epistemological and ontological foundations of inquiry. Our main concern in this chapter is with methodology.

Methodologies include not only the methods used for data collection and ways of manipulating ...

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