Sociology is a core topic for all trainee health professionals, but many struggle to get to grips with it and to see what sociology has to offer. Based on years of experience teaching sociology to health care students, Lani Russell has written a truly introductory text which explains the main sociological concepts without jargon or becoming too advanced. Using carefully chosen examples, she shows how health issues are influenced by social phenomena such as class, race or sexuality and the relevance this has for practitioners.



Key Issues

  • The way we think about health and illness today reflects a way of thinking that dates back to the nineteenth century; it is known as the biomedical model
  • The biomedical approach to health and illness has strengths but also weaknesses; it over-simplifies health problems in particular ways
  • Health care practice today reflects the influence of the social and biopsychosocial models of health, which emphasize psychological and social factors influencing health and illness


When you think about health care, what images come to mind? You may picture uniforms and sterile floors, white coats, plastic gloves and patients lined up in bed. It seems like ‘common sense’ to think about health in this way. However, this way of thinking about health is fairly recent. Our twenty-first century ...

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