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.

Chronic Illness and Disability

Chronic illness and disability

Key Issues

  • Experiences of chronic illness and disability reflect the social context in which symptoms and impairments occur
  • Discrimination is a major social factor impacting on the health of disabled people and those with chronic illness
  • How biomedical knowledge is shared is important for the management of chronic illness and disability


Illness is often spoken about as if it is something that happens to us from time to time, but then, we get better and our bodies return to ‘normal’. For those of us who have chronic illness or a disability, this way of thinking is problematic. It reflects a biomedical framework for thinking about health and illness. As suggested in Chapter 1, the biomedical model of health, whilst it is ...

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