Research in the field of public health, health policy and health services has always been informed by theoretical perspectives from the social sciences. Social sciences through their engagement with these applied fields of public health and health policy have gained tremendously, even to the extent of building theories in social sciences. Time has come for the fields of public health and health policy to ground their own inquiries not only to solve practical problems, but also to derive larger theoretical contributions for their own disciplinary growth. In order to accomplish this, it is important to understand the various perspectives in the social sciences that have been used to examine areas related to public health, health services, health policy and the medical and allied health professions. Further, it is important to engage with the application of social science theories as it is currently utilized in the field of sociology of health and Illness especially those issues related to the delivery of public health and health care services. This will equip the students to engage with and interpret the practice of public health and health care from a societal perspective in order to make it better to address the health needs of people.



The central role of culture in understanding the processes of health, illness and healing is well acknowledged in the field of Public health. Traditional Medical anthropology has largely confined its inquiry into the community and their cultural characteristics as a way to understand the barriers in implementing public health programmes. In the current context, medical anthropology has transcend its inquiry into the process of knowledge production that takes place in the field of medicine and public health across different cultures including one's own, thereby developing a critical perspective which redefines the concepts of disease, healing systems and the role of technology making public health more relevant to those people involved.