The three main categories of sociological theories include; functionalism, conflict and interactionism. Sociological theory of function applies to the social structures within the health care institution. It lays emphasis on processes, social order, value, and stability. Functionalism theory enables healthcare workers to explain how order can be maintained in the lives of their clients within health institutions. This theory indicates that society is capable of creating stressful situations where individuals are held answerable to circumstances not of their free will (Cockerham & Scambler, 2009).
Conflict theory in health care applies to the ability of health care professionals to define concepts of illness, recommended treatment regimen, and wellness in shaping values and exerting control in society. The theory views social behavior of two or more groups within the institution from the perspective of tension and conflict. In this theory, it is argued that power bestowed on healthcare professionals reflects the perception of them being knowledgeable and experts in handling health issues among citizens. This theory enables healthcare workers to understand underlying ethics and values of health care (Rogers, 2010).
Social interactionism entails the unique manner and essence in which healthcare institutions and the individuals communicate and interact with each other. It is applied in the way people attach meaning to communication based on their contexts. In effect, individuals are able to make meaning of their experiences and the society during interaction, and this in turn shapes the development and structure of society (Rogers, 2010).
The main similarity between the three sociological theories is that they enable healthcare workers to think about the problems of clients from a wider perspective and design interventions applicable to macro-issues of the society. They also foster the in-depth