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ISBN: 9780195518818

Published: 1 Feb 12

Availability: Available



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Society, Culture & Health e-book

An Introduction to Sociology for Nurses

Second Edition

Karen Willis, Shandell Elmer

This is a VitalSource e-book.

Society, Culture and Health introduces sociology to students studying nursing and related health professions. It examines the sources of ideas about health and illness, including the biomedical model, folk and lay approaches and the influence of the media, and covers the impact on health of social marginalisation through a careful examination of structural variables. The experiences of health and illness are explained through a theoretical analysis of the body in contemporary society, covering issues such as chronic illness and disability.

Thoroughly revised and updated this edition gives an overview of the role of nursing within the health care system and its relationship with medicine and alternative health practices. Taking a practical approach, and using case studies to examine a range of issues such as domestic violence, occupational health, indigenous health and refugee health, it prepares students for working in health professions which are wide-ranging in settings, systems and clients.


New to this Edition

  • New chapters on gender and sexuality; culture and ethnicity; aging, health and inequality; and power and responsibility in health care encounters.
  • A variety of new case studies that cover a range of experiences and situations alongside the original running case study that follows Julia as she embarks upon her nursing career.
  • More in-depth discussion about class and gender
  • Covers ethnicity, refugee health, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, the role of the media in health and chronic illness, amongst others.
  • Contrasts sociological and biomedical approaches and examines lay perceptions of health, including cross cultural and indigenous health beliefs.


1. What is Sociology and Why is it Relevant to Nurses?

Part 1: Ideas about Health and Illness
2. Biomedical and Sociological Approaches to Health and Illness
3. The Media and Health
4. Contemporary Debates about Health and Illness

Part 2: Social Structure and Health
5. Health and Illness Patterns in Australia
6. Gender, Sex and Sexuality
7. Culture and Health: Ethnic Diversity in Healing Practices and Health Issues
8. The Health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
9. Ageing, Health and Inequality

Part 3: Experiencing Health and Illness
10. The Body, Health and Lifestyle
11. The Illness Experience: Chronic Illness

Part 4: Working in Health
12. Health Care Systems and the Health Workforce
13. Power and Responsibility in Health Care Encounters
14. Complementary and Alternative Medicine
15. Nursing in Contemporary Australia
16. Nurses, Sociology and Health

Karen Willis Senior Lecturer / Deputy Head of School of Sociology and Social Work, University of Tasmania

Shandell Elmer Lecturer, School of Sociology and Social Work, University of Tasmania