The book provides suggestions and examples of how sociological concepts and insights can be used to help think about important contemporary issues in health care. For that reason, it has a practical as well as academic purpose, contributing to improvement of the quality of interaction between patients and practitioners. The core themes running throughout the book are inequalities in health and the rise of chronic disease, with particular attention being given to psycho-social models of illness which locate individual experiences within wider social relationships.
Debates about the future of health care bring questions about patient choice, paternalism and inequalities to the fore.
This book addresses some of the sociological issues surrounding these questions including:
• The social distribution of knowledge
• The basis of professional power
• Sources of social inequalities in health
• The ability of health care services to address these issues