You are here

An Introduction to the Sociology of Health and Illness

An Introduction to the Sociology of Health and Illness

Third Edition
  • Kevin White - Australian National University, Canberra, Australia

December 2016 | 240 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

The bestselling An Introduction to the Sociology of Health and Illness has long been the go-to text for students looking for a clear, engaging and theoretically informed introduction to this dynamic topic.

Written with a truly sociological and critical perspective, and thoroughly updated to include the latest cutting-edge thinking in the area, the new edition is packed with new empirical examples.

Incorporating helpful learning features including chapter overviews, boxed cases, summaries and further reading, this book is a stimulating and thought-provoking essential text for students in health, nursing and sociology schools.

The Social Construction of Medical Knowledge
The Development of the Sociology of Health
Postmodernity, Epidemiology and Neo-Liberalism
Materialist Approaches to the Sociology of Health
Parson, American Sociology of Medicine and the Sick Role
Foucault and the Sociology of Medical Knowledge
Health, Gender and Feminism
Race, Ethnicity and Health

Praise for second edition:

Kevin White guides us through the many reasons for the centrality of health showing clearly that health and illness are the products not just of our biology but of the society into which we are born. He expertly draws on the works of Parsons, Marx, Foucault and feminist writers to provide an authoritative analysis of the social nature of health.

Ray Fitzpatrick
University of Oxford

This book provides an accessible and highly readable introduction to the Sociology of Health and Illness through the inclusion of key theorists, concepts, and theories with reference to contemporary health concerns and recent relevant research. I would recommend this book to students on Public Health, Epidemiology, Health Studies and Sociology programmes.

Kylie Baldwin
De Montfort University

In the modern world the causes and consequences of illness have become increasingly complex and contested with corresponding changes in health-care delivery and the training of medical professionals. In this heavily revised third edition, Kevin White provides an assured and comprehensive overview of the sociological study of health and illness. Less an Introduction and more a Cornucopia covering sociological perspectives as well as debates about and commentaries on developments in medical knowledge, disease, treatment and medical institutions.


Essential reading for both students and scholars.

Bryan Turner
The Graduate Center

a really useful resources helping students intending to study nursing at university to understand the sociology of health and health inequalities. A very good introduction to sociological perspectives

Mrs Michele Ponting
Access to Higher Education, Portslade Aldridge Community Academy
June 15, 2017

An Introduction to the Sociology of Health and Illness continues to provide exactly what is required for students to be successful, being an accessible introduction to the complex nature of how society influences the distribution of health.

Dr David Matthews
Institure of Health and Wellbeing, Coleg Llandrillo
June 7, 2017

For instructors

Select a Purchasing Option

ISBN: 9781473982086

ISBN: 9781473982079