Reflexive modernity and the sociology of health

Chapter

Abstract

  • The analysis and explanation of increasingly complex social phenomena represents one of the foremost challenges of sociological theory in the twenty-first century. This is particularly important in the sociology of health because definitions of health, mechanisms of disease, the nature of clinical medicine, and the structure of health care delivery in late modernity are all undergoing fundamental transformations. Undoubtedly, scholars will be better positioned to understand these developments if they also consider the broader social changes from which they emanate. Many transformations in health and medicine stem in large part from the way the epidemiological transition has radiated across macro and micro levels of scale. Medical sociologists must not only engage these phenomena in a critical fashion, but in pushing theory and analysis forward (and maintaining a dynamic and relevant sociology of health), we must also match this complexity with equally complex conceptual frameworks that are able to span the micro-macro divide and connect phenomena at multiple levels of analysis. Put another way, explaining, analyzing, and understanding late modern shifts (or fractures) in health, clinical practice, and health care delivery is critical for medical sociology moving forward and the theoretical and conceptual formulations of health sociology are integral to this endeavor.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    International Standard Book Number (isbn) 10

  • 9400761929
  • International Standard Book Number (isbn) 13

  • 9789400761926
  • Start Page

  • 215
  • End Page

  • 232