How do we understand health in relation to society? What role does culture play in shaping our experiences of, and orientation to, health and illness? How do we understand medicine and medical treatment within a sociological framework?
With the possible exception of the earliest or pre-Neolithic societies, human sociability has consistently shown evidence of enduring hierarchy or strata. This division of social formations by hierarchy or strata is usually referred to as ‘social stratification’. Even in post-Neolithic but still traditional or pre-modern societies, stratification was more complex than simple oppositions between ‘master and slave’ and ‘lord and serf’ suggest. In highly differentiated modern societies, stratification is invariably multi-dimensional. While social class is the dimension of stratification that has been most often highlighted and debated, it is far from being the only ...