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Issues » 2006/1 - Socio-Legal Protection of Children »

Sylva Bártlová

Contribution of T. Parsons to the development of sociology of medicine and the health care system


With his book “The Social System”, Talcott Parsons significantly contributed to the development of the sociology of medicine. He analysed the modern health care system as part of the community, defined the roles of the doctor and the patient and outlined the sociological conception of illness. In 1960s a change and move away from Parson’s paradigm takes place. It is connected with the whole complex of medical, technological, demographic, sociological and psychological reasons. It is also related to the changed image of illnesses, to the increase in occurrence of chronic and civilisation společdiseases of often obscure etiology, resulting from the life style of an individual and the whole society. The institution of modern medicine started to be attacked as part of the development of industrial and consumer society. Nevertheless, even up to this day his theoretical contribution to the development of sociology of medicine remains unbeaten.

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