Theorising health: Major theoretical perspectives in health sociology

John Germov

    Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter in textbook/reference bookpeer-review


    A theory is an explanation of how things work and why things happen. Theories allow us to make sense of our world— they provide answers to the ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions of life— by showing the way certain facts are connected to one another. This chapter provides an overview of the main theoretical perspectives in health sociology. Differences between the theoretical perspectives are discussed, particularly with reference to the structure– agency debate and the different questions addressed by each perspective. The chapter ends with a plea for theoretical pluralism and a caution against confusing perspectives with specific theories.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationSecond opinion
    Subtitle of host publicationAn introduction to health sociology
    EditorsJohn Germov
    Place of PublicationSouth Melbourne, Victoria
    PublisherOxford University Press, USA
    Number of pages19
    ISBN (Electronic)9780190306496
    ISBN (Print)9780190306489
    Publication statusPublished - 2019


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