A sub-discipline is a field of specialized study within a broader discipline: is this true even for the relationship between the sociological discipline and the sociology of health? To what extent can we consider the sociology of health just as a sub-discipline of its mother-discipline? It is exactly the problem this special issue of the journal try to tackle by the contribution of a series of scholars at the international level who look at it from the specific observatory of their own country or macro-region – UK, Scandinavia, France, Italy, Poland, India and Japan – and of their different cultural traditions and academic history. Their essays offer some interesting insights on old and new issues, such as the problem of the relationship between theory and practice, the definition of the boundaries of the sociology of health, and the ethnocentric nature of most of its categories, given its origins and roots in the Northern American first and in the European contexts later on.
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