Topic: Essays

Last updated: March 3, 2019

The symptoms of the illness affects the patient physical, emotional and social functioning and can have a significant effect on their role in everyday activities such as at work. As a result this would make the person more likely to take on the sick role. “Talcott Parsons, a sociologist, described illness as deviance -as health is generally necessary for a functional society – which thrust the ill person into the sick role” (Parsons, T.

The Social System. 1951. Glencoe, IL: The Free Press).The sick role is a concept created by Talcott Parsons. “Sick role is when the individual step outside their other roles (eg as employee) and takes on the role of a patient. There are certain behaviours that go along with this role and certain expectations from others.

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For example, nurses and doctors expect the patient to take their medication and advice. According to Parsons’ (1951) concept of the sick role, whilst the individual who is ill is not required to carry out normal day-to-day tasks such as going to work, in exchange for this they are expected to do everything possible to get well quickly so they can resume their normal duties and fulfill their social and economic obligations”(Billingham et al, 2016 p. 423-424).


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