Sociology Research Paper Question

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Title:   Sociological perspectives on health and illness emphasise that it is vital to understand structural and social factors in order to fully understand people’s experiences of health and illness.   Discuss using examples from your work/life experience and support these with theories from the module. 

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LENGTH:                      3,000 words 

Here is the sociology research paper that answers this question.

Learning Outcomes In this assignment, students should address all of the following:

  • Consider a range of concepts and theories related to the sociology of health and illness
  • Discuss the impact of sociological factors upon the distribution of health and illness across the population

You will be marked against the marking criteria on the grid on the following page

Further Guidance: 

  • Provide evidence that social and economic conditions have a major effect on patterns of disease and death rates and critically discuss how have these have varied over the years
  • Identify the theories of disease causation and evaluate their strengths and weaknesses
  • Based on academic evidence, discuss the impact of social and cultural change on health and disease e.g. Industrialisation /urbanisation, migration, occupational and social mobility, occupation/ unemployment, stress, geographical locality
  • The essay should be in your own words and fully referenced according to the Harvard Referencing system 

Learning Outcomes By the end of this module, students should be able to:

  • Consider a range of concepts and theories related to the sociology of health and illness.
  • Consider a wide range of social, policy and legislative frameworks and identify how to apply these to ethical and value based practice.
  • Discuss the impact of sociological factors upon the distribution of health and illness across the population

Generic Key Skill Outcomes:

  • Communicate clearly and appropriately, demonstrating an awareness of a variety of contexts through reading, listening, writing, and presenting.
  • Interactive/Group Skills . relate to, and interact effectively with others through mutual respect
  • Recognizing ethical issues and responsibility & recognizing professional roles and responsibilities in Health and Social Care 

Indicative content

What we consider to be ‘healthy’ is shaped by society; we compare our own health with those around us and identify illness according to social norms. There are many disciplines with an interest in health and its practice and this module will introduce you to the main schools of social theory and show how they may be applied to offer deeper understandings of health and healthcare. Because health is deeply bound in our position in society and because healthcare is a social activity, social theory can help us make links in diverse areas of healthcare.

Social theory shows us that health is not only shaped by our access to medical interventions, but also by power and inequality. From the personal experience of the unwell individual to the social, historical, cultural, and economic factors that affect national morbidity rates. We shall look at medical sociology from micro and macro levels and use examples from the most significant empirical work in the field to shed light on and challenge classical and contemporary social theory. In particular, we shall look at recent developments in medical sociology by specifically analysing:

  • Inequities based on income, gender, and racism
  • The role of the pharmaceutical industry in shaping our ideas about disease
  • Medical encounters and the medicalization of everyday life
  • The structure of health care systems and health care reforms

Week by week shall look at each main social theory and show how they can be applied to our understanding of health and health care.

  • Cultural aspects of health
  • Functionalism
  • Political Economy Theory
  • Social Interaction Theory
  • Postmodernism
  • Feminist Theory

Sometimes more than one branch of social theory may be needed to explain a phenomenon and later on in the module your groups will lead discussions to explore questions that can be explained from several approaches.

I was given a plan

Sociology assignment plan

Sociological perspective on health and illness emphasize that is vital

  • What are sociological perspective
  • A view of something from a sociological perspective
  • When you analyse society form the basis of sociology
  • Economics politics
  • To understand health and illness you need to understand the background of the person
  • Functionalism- the discipline from darkham, from health and illness
  • Functionalism- the way in which society function
  • How we engage with society and how society engages with us
  • Speak about both theories
  • The rich and the works
  • Your place in the world weather you are rich or poor defines your health
  • Feminism, equal right from woman and men
  • Notions of equality within gender

Have to discuss that they are all important

First part

Give the reader that you understand the theories

Speak about functionalism

Then your place in society

Then feminism

Then speak about the factors





How you access



Health services

Explain your experiences… such as working in a dementia ward, working with vulnerable adults and taking care of them and any life experience…  This can obviously be made up as u go along

You need to give an example

People from working class smoke more than higher class

Therefore they will have poor health

They are working class so they are poor

They haven’t had the education and information to know what smoking does to their health

Racism could impact health

Social factor

Leant behaviour

2 examples that you are familiar with and expand

You can write about my experience but you can’t make a statement

Speak about the 3 theories for the first section

Then you speak about the one that you want


Go back to the original question

What they argue

And the examples

I was given a marking criteria if that helps

Health and Social Care Assessment: Sociology essay

To pass this module, all the above guidance criteria and the marking criteria as set out below must be achieved 

Criteria for ‘A’ GradeABCDEFCriteria for ‘R’ Grade
1.     Answering the Question

Answers the question and explores the issues directly and throughout the

Does not answer the question and/or includes a large proportion of material that is not relevant to the question.
2.     Knowledge & Concepts

Demonstrates that knowledge and concepts       acquired are used rigorously to discuss the impact of sociological factors upon the distribution of health and illness across the population

Relies on description and shows limited evidence of relevant sociological   concepts and theories.  Arguments, if attempted, are rarely substantiated
3.     Content

Demonstrates focus with excellent arguments/ analysis, relevant supporting material and examples used throughout the essay with sources incorporated well and appropriately acknowledged.

Almost no focus with ideas expressed inadequate for topic.  Irrelevant sections, a lack of examples & supporting material.
4.     Use of Evidence

Includes statements that are always based on     evidence from the literature and uses this evidence to consider a range of concepts and theories related to the sociology of health and illness. Any direct quotations used follow conventions.  Evidence of wide range of reading & research and the ability to use this effectively.

Evidence of individual reading and investigation is negligible.
Reproduces information from a limited number or inappropriate sources. Almost no reference to sources/ large use of plagiarism. Almost no evidence of accessing or  understanding of reading & research
5.     Organisation and Cohesion

Demonstrates excellent overall organisation with a clear introduction including a central statement, a main body clearly divided into sections with suitable paragraphing & a clear conclusion.  Excellent attention paid to guiding the reader and where appropriate & excellent use of linking devices.

Lack of logical organisation, no discernible introduction and/or conclusion.  No sense of coherent paragraphing.  Line of argument extremely difficult to follow
6.      Presentation

Excellently presented with attention to detail of the conventions of the title page, bibliography, appendices, page numbers & overall layout.  Appropriate length with excellent spelling & punctuation demonstrated throughout

Almost no attention paid to the frequent faults in the presentation of work (e.g. inaccurate syntax, spelling and punctuation) and significant difficulties in its structure and organisation that detract from the clarity and meaning overall
7.     Communication

Excellent communicative competence. Full command of academic language with a wide & excellent use of appropriate vocabulary & grammatical structures.  Excellent use of academic register

Extremely limited communicative competence.  Reader struggles throughout. Inability to use simple language accurately.  Very little appropriate vocabulary
8.     Referencing Technique

References in the text and in the bibliography
are fully consistent with the Harvard system

References in the text and in the bibliography show numerous errors in using the Harvard system
9.     Use of Literature

Uses a wide range of reliable and relevant sources to inform the assignment.

Accesses a very limited range of reliable and relevant sources to inform the assignment.
10.                        Submission

Submits one typed copy of the essay to Academic Registry together with an electronic copy to Turnitin on the Bb site for this module. Both are submitted on or before the due submission date and time with the completed module evaluation form

Submits one or both of these copies late (zero mark)

Here are some readings if needed

Recommended Reading:

  • Barry, A, Yuill, C ( 2007) Understanding Health Sage Publications Inc (USA)
  • White, K. ( 2009) An Introduction to the Sociology of Health and Illness. Sage Publications. Los Angeles
  • Ransome, P. (2010) Social Theory for Beginners. Bristol: Polity Press
  • Thompson, N. (2011) Promoting Equality: Working with Diversity and Difference 3rd edn. Palgrave Macmillan. London
  • Albrecht, Gary L., Fitzpatrick, Ray, Scrimshaw, Susan C. (ed.) (2003), The Handbook of Social Studies in Health and Medicine, London: Sage Publications Ltd.
  • Armstrong, D., (2003) Outline of Sociology as Applied to Medicine. Hodder Education
  • Bilton, T, Bennett, K, Jones, P, Lawson, T, Skinner, D, Stanworth, M, Webster, A, (4th 2002) Introductory Sociology Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Blaxter, M. .(2004) Health Cambridge : PolityCrone, J. A. . How can we solve our social problems? Thousand Oaks, Calif. ; London : Pine Forge
  • Bradby, H. (2009) Medical Sociology: An introduction. London: Sage
  • Davey, B., Gray, A., Seale, C. (3rd 2001.) Health and Disease: a Reader Open University Press
  • Davey, B.; Seale, C.(ed.), (2nd 2002) Experiencing and Explaining Disease, Open University Press,
  • Gabe, G et al., (2004) Key Concepts in Medical Sociology. London: Sage
  • Giddens, A. (6th 2010) Sociology. Cambridge: Polity Press
  • Kennedy, P. & Kennedy, C. (2010) Health, Medicine and Society. Bristol: Polity Press
  • Layder, D (2nd ed 2006) Understanding Social Theory London: Sage Publications Ltd
  • Nettleton S. (2000) Sociology of Health and Illness, Oxford: Blackwell
  • Scambler, G., (6th 2008). Sociology as Applied to Medicine. Elsevier Health Sciences


  • Rogers, A., & Pilgrim, D. (2003) Mental Health and Inequality Basingstoke: Hampshire, UK  Palgrave Macmillan
  • Hinshaw, S. P/ (2007) The Mark of Shame: Stigma of Mental Illness and an Agenda for Change Oxford University Press
  • Burr, V. (2003) Social Constructionism London: Taylor & Francis
  • Woodward, K. (2004) Questioning Identity: Gender, Class, Ethnicity Introduction to the Social Sciences London: Taylor & Francis

Relevant Journals on subscription or free access

  • British Journal of Health Psychology
  • British Journal of Sociology
  • British Medical Journal
  • Medical Sociology online (MSo) A free access publication of the British Sociological Association
  • Public Health
  • Qualitative Health Research
  • Race & Class 

Relevant Journals not on subscription –abstracts and some free content

  • Sociology of Health and Illness

Here is the sociology research paper that answers the questions above following all the guidelines step by step.

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