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

  • Our society is characterized by class inequalities, with different classes having unequal access to wealth, power and status
  • People who are disadvantaged because of their class position also face major disadvantages in relation to their health
  • These disadvantages can be understood as relating to material and cultural resources and psychosocial factors


Most people have an idea what it means to say that someone is ‘middle class’ or ‘working class’. Yet different people mean different things when they use these terms. This may be one reason why most of us don't feel very comfortable using these terms, whether we're discussing class in relation to ourselves or someone else. Just the idea of ‘upper’ and ‘lower’ class seems to suggest that some people are better than other ...

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