Parsons theorised about the concept of the ‘sick role’ and wrote about its’ importance and place in society. He said that illness is a dysfunction because it impacts on the usual activities and roles of the individuals. One’s life is impacted by illness. Parsons mentioned that the ‘sick role’ is learned through socialization, and the things that one does when they are determined as ‘ill’ is indicated by the society they live in. Illness takes away an individual’s responsibilities and they are given the right to withdraw from social responsibilities and society in general. With that being said, Parsons went on to state that the individual who is in this role is also expected to try and find a way to solve their illness or they are viewed as deviant.
Parsons said that the roles of the individuals change when the ‘sick role’ is implemented. Doctors are expected to control and regulate sickness and act in best interests of the patients or anyone else who may be involved in the patient’s life. The doctor must follow a professional code of conduct. Parsons didn’t account for everything in the ‘sick role’ as he didn’t consider the possibility of chronic conditions or the problems that deviance labels may create.¬