Why sociologists abandoned the sick role concept

  title={Why sociologists abandoned the sick role concept},
  author={John C. Burnham},
  journal={History of the Human Sciences},
  pages={70 - 87}
  • J. Burnham
  • Published 1 February 2014
  • Sociology
  • History of the Human Sciences
The concept of the sick role entered sociology in 1951 when Talcott Parsons creatively separated the sick person out of the doctor–patient dyad. The idea became fundamental in the subdiscipline of medical sociology. By the 1990s, the concept had almost disappeared from the research literature. Beyond the generational and theoretical changes that explain how the sick role idea could become irrelevant or unnecessary to sociologists, there were two immediate factors: the negative politicization of… 
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