Learning Objectives

13.1   How does sociology contribute to our understanding of health and illness?

13.2   In what ways are health and illness social experiences and not simply biological phenomena?

13.3   What is medicalization?

13.4   How are an individual’s health behaviors (e.g., lack of exercise, unhealthy eating) influenced by social factors?

13.5   How do sex and gender, race and ethnicity, and social class affect health and life expectancy?

13.6   What are the major issues facing the U.S. health care system?