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?


Jane Sandall

The shared beliefs, values and practices of any society are central to how women, men and children orient themselves towards the major events of birth, illness and death. By extension, reproduction is an area that reveals the relations between health care as a social practice, dominant social values and gendered beliefs. There is considerable cultural variation in how pregnancy and childbearing are defined and managed in everyday life. In some societies pregnancy is a normal life event and a status passage; in others it is regarded as an illness. Crucial to the sociological view ...

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