Talcott Parsons needs little introduction to anyone acquainted with the literature of sociology. Few men have dominated their fields so much as Dr. Parsons does his. In this collection of nineteen essays, Dr. Parsons focuses his attention on subjects ranging from the social structure of Japan to.
METHODS: This article reviews five social science theories, emphasising their relevance to medical education, beginning with the emergence of the sociology of health and illness in the 1950s, with Talcott Parsons' concept of the 'sick role'. Four turning points since Parsons are then discussed with reference to the theory developed by, respectively, Harold Garfinkel, Michel Foucault and Pierre.