Tacot Parsons’s Contribution to the Sociology of Health

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In this essay I would analyse the concept of health and illness, I would critically examines the contribution of Parsons Theory to health and illness and the criticisms of Parsons model of sick role. In addition, the paper will discuss inequality in health and the findings of black report. I would also discuss sickle cell disease and coronary heart disease.

Talcott Parsons has revolutionised the way to deal with the disease and he structured his ideas in to practice and interlink with core issues that the utilitarian society must have. In that sense Parsons noticed that when a person is sick, they are unable to carry out their social responsibility normally. Therefore, Parsons implies that the only way to understand the illness and its effect to society are to look at illness in a different angle as the form of deviance, which undermines the, role of society thus; it should be a way to control the situation same as crime and other form of deviance. This led Parsons to assess the relationship between illness and social control.

Haralambos (2000 pg294)

Since Parsons emphasised new advances in dealing with illness; thus, he put forward the historical method in the sociology of health known as sick role, he has then shifted illness from biological concept to social theory.

Haralambos (2000 pg294)

Parsons derived model of sick from studies of Freud, Max Weber and The functionalist. He emphasize the concept of transference and counter-transference of parent–child relationship, the idea taken from Freud with patient-doctor relationship then again he undertake the structure of personality from Freud to compare with conflicting drive that sick person has, that he recover from illness and enjoy the secondary gains of care and r...

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...ween lower and higher social classes was widening. A person’s social class is based on a mixture of factors such as income level, education, housing and occupation. The report’s other findings were there were some cases of lower social classes experiencing worst health than in the 1950’s.

The two important reports were presented Acheson(1998) and Black reports(1980) were able to investigate health and inequality in the UK. Black report’s findings were:

Institutional racism seems to be other factors that ethnic minority has to bear within health service.

Parsons remain a symbolic figure to further new ideas in the sociology of health; his contribution has paved the way to new understandings. Parsons still remain the guideline to the research and methods in a political as well as health arena.
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