Purpose: this Wikibook sets out to create an open, free, and editable introductory e-textbook on the subject of health sociology.
Audience: ISCED level 6 (e.g. Bachelor's) or above students seeking an introduction to health sociology, although everyone is welcome to read and participate with this work.
Scope: this work sets out to provide a top-level overview of topics relating to health sociology. As such, this is not an exhaustive text, but a concise presentation of concepts, ideas, and issues related to health sociology. Efforts to include a variety of relevant materials, from case studies to videos, have been utilised throughout to enhance the project as an e-textbook. A number of sections have further readings to explore beyond this work and links to additional wiki resources.
Format: this e-textbook is a dynamic, rather than static, piece of work. Its content, layout, and direction will alter and be expanded upon as contributors come and go. As such, whilst reading and engaging with the material, if there is something you disagree with, want to flag for review, or you find an error on - you are able to contribute. As a community project, all contributions are made freely and voluntarily and decision making on any aspect will take place collectively. Fact checking, layout, and wider editorial responsibilities fall on all contributors to take part in. If there comes a point in the future where a single record of our work would be beneficial, potentially an archived copy of our contributions can be saved and a new edition can be started. Currently, this e-textbook is written in British English and further language editions may be started in the future. But, this project is a long way off from that and welcomes all interested in health sociology to contribute what they can to this in-development project for future generations to engage with.
Structure: this e-textbook is structured in nine parts. Part one focuses on providing a general overview of what health sociology means, how we "know" health, and key concepts that learners should understand before going into the material. Part two develops upon overarching themes found throughout health and society, exploring issues such as inequality to class. Part three then explores the lived experiences of humans and their health throughout various stages and experiences of living and death. Part four offers insight into the practical considerations of undertaking healthcare activities within society. Part five builds upon these practical insights and examines the social processes and phenomenon that govern these practices. Part six moves to a top-level view of our society to explore wider social influences on our health and wellbeing. Part seven considers the historical social relationships with our health and their ramifications for present and future generations. Part eight then leans on significant theoretical perspectives to frame and contextualise the various insights provided throughout. Part nine ends by discussing the future of our health and society, exploring the importance of democratic activism, technology, and societal wellbeing to the continued development and equity of everyone's health.
Part 1: Understanding health and society
Health and society
Theory and "knowing" health
Part 2: Themes of health and society
Inequality, Inequity, Injustice, and Liberation
The body and the mind
Part 3: Living within a human lifespan
Anxiety, scares, uncertainty, and the unknown
Drugs, usage, and addicition
Part 4: Doing health in society
Allied health professions
Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Part 5: Negotiating health with society
Social construction of health
The Professional and the Lay Person
Diagnosis to treatment
Part 6: Setting the agenda in health and society
Think tanks and research groups
Sceptics and conspiricy theorists
Part 7: Histories of health and society
Part 8: Perspectives of health and society
Part 9: Bettering health and society