Bissell, Paul, Traulsen, Janine Morgall and Haugbølle, Lotte Stig (2002) Sociological Theory and Pharmacy Practice Research: (3) How relevant is Marxist sociology for pharmacy practice research? International Journal of Pharmacy Practice, 10 (2). pp. 127-140. ISSN 0961-7671

In our previous paper on the relevance of sociology to pharmacy practice research, we discussed the ideas of Talcott Parsons and his work on the sick role. We explained that his consensual depiction of how health care relationships functioned within society came under sustained attack during the 1960s and beyond. Much of this criticism emanated from scholars influenced by the work of Karl Marx. The sociological perspective most heavily influenced by Marx's ideas has come to be known as the political economy critique (although for simplicity we refer in this paper to the ideas of Marx rather than the political economy critique). No sociological textbook would be complete without a major section devoted to Marx. The same applies to this series on the relevance of sociology to pharmacy practice research. What we will show in this paper is that sociologists influenced by Marx have produced a compelling critique of the relationship between capitalism and health in Western societies and this critique continues to be germane to understanding contemporary health care systems, health issues and the role of pharmacy within society.

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