• Summary
  • Contents

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?

Ellen Annandale

‘Being a man or a woman’, writes Connell (2009: 5), ‘is not a pre-determined state. It is a becoming, a condition actively under construction’. The social construction of gender has implications for health. Health is socially patterned while remaining dynamic and sensitive to changes in the social relations of gender within and between societies over time.

The distinction between biological sex and social gender has been indispensable for the study of gender and health. However, sex and gender tend to be treated as competing explanations when - more often than not - they both matter and it is their ...

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