Sociology is defined as the systematic study of human society, its institutions, social structures, experiences, social relations and how they all interact with each other. In relation to medical issues, the discipline of society offers different means that aid humans in understanding illnesses and health within society. It also offers means in which different organizations deliver healthcare to the affected. This theoretical perspective is adopted from the sociology fathers and recent postmodernist scholars.
Through history, scholars have tried to explain the sociological views and their application to different health through the sociological theories. Structural functionalism (Durkheimian theory) is related to A.R. Radcliffe brown both argue that the social systems are coexistent and depend on each other. Using the same theory Talcott Parsons explains that the biological state of an organism is related to the social environment it tries to adjust to thus illness. The theory was criticized greatly which led to the two strands which are materialism and interactionalism.
Interactionalism as by Charles Cooley tries to explain that the different perspectives people have are influenced by the society. Ervin Goffman creates a theory that explains that identity is created by how different people see them. He explains this by giving an example of how mental patients are influenced by the mental institutions. Through social construction, Berger & Luckmann argues that creativity is defined by problems an individual faces. They argue that disease is a just label applied and, as a result, a the medical facts are socially created.
Vicente Navarro uses the Marxist theory of Materialism to explain the relationship between capitalism and safety of workers. The workers contract diseases in the course of working for their bosses. Feminists through feminism theories explain medical sociology. This is because it relates with the medicalization of women lives and bodies, which began with the criticism of childbirth and pregnancy. Anti racism theories take a similar perspective like the feminist theory arguing that everyday experiences are racialized. Post colonialism follows explaining how healthcare is related to health care. Post modernism focus on micro sociological issues that affect the body.
In conclusion, these theories were partly in response to Parsons sick role concept.