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
Medical sociologists have long been interested in studying illness experience and especially chronic illness. The public health and demographic reasons for this are not hard to find. In the last half of the twentieth century most developed countries (and now many developing nations) have experienced a ‘demographic transition’. A decline in mortality at all ages, but especially in infancy and early adulthood, has led to an increase in average life expectancy from birth and (in the presence of low fertility rates) an ageing population. Today the ...