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?
Chapter : Social Class
Material and Cultural Factors
[Page 20]The publication of the Black Report (DHSS, 1980) marked a turning point in the understanding of health inequalities in the UK and beyond, not least for sociologists. Charged not only with documenting but also explaining health inequalities, Black and his colleagues ranked material factors as being of the first importance, with cultural factors (giving rise to individual ‘risk behaviours’ for health) coming second. In ...