Health Sociology

Topics: Sociology, Health care, Symbolic interactionism Pages: 4 (1460 words) Published: May 26, 2014
The present paper reviews various theories in reference to health sociology. Discussion will centre around a brief definition of theory and sociology while exploring and comparing two of the seven main theoretical perspectives; functionalism and symbolic interactionism. This paper concludes by providing reasoning on the importance of contributing these two theories to the knowledge of health care practitioners. A theory allows us to make sense of the world by providing clarification of why things happen and how things work. Each theory is developed on a collection of different authors views although in the end they tend to share core values of a certain perspective or society (Germov, 2009). Theories are commonly the foundation for all health policies and reflect on the way health care providers deliver care, they allow health practitioners to enhance their knowledge on matters they are unsure of through qualitative research and encourage continuation of skill development in hope of achieving improved quality of care (Albert, Hodges, Kuper & Reeves, 2008). Sociology is simply the study of human social life and encourages health care professionals to view everyday occurrences in different ways. It can be broken down into sociology in nursing, relating to an individual’s health care experience or sociology of nursing, referring more to the issues that affect the profession as a whole (Green & Earle, 2009). Functionalism also known as structural functionalism or consensus theory looks at society from a large-scale prospective and is an approach to sociology based on ideas by three key theorists; Ѐmily Durkheim (1858-1917), Talcott Parsons (1902-79) and Robert Merton’s (1910-2003). This theoretical perspective, which is popular in the USA, explores the required structures that make up a society and how each part contributes to maintaining social stability and equilibrium (Germov, 2009). According to Van Krieken et al. (2013) the main ideas of the functionalist...
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