Health is one of the most important goods for individuals and societies. That is why discussion about health and health care should be treated as crucial. The goal of our conference is to gather together scholars who are conducting research in the field of health and health care. We are going to tackle problems of inequalities and focus on new opportunities for addressing them. Sociology has been concerned with inequality from its very beginnings. Inequality means the uneven distribution of goods. One of the most important goods is health, but social factors such as education, employment status, income level, gender, ethnicity, and age influence health status and access to care.
The task of policy makers is to reduce inequalities, which means giving everyone the same opportunities to lead a healthy life. But the task for sociologists is to research and explain what does, or could, cause inequalities and to propose solutions. We know that education, employment status, income level, gender and ethnicity and other factors have a great impact on life expectancy and quality of life. In modern Europe all these social factors are fueled by migration, political tribulations and the neoliberal economy. Value crises, risk, and individualism do not help. Developments in medicine, in medical technology and biotechnology, new treatments and new procedures, and many other things which become an opportunity to cure and care, can be a source of further inequalities. That is why involving social science, in particular sociology, in the discourse about health and health care is important.
Scientific Committee ESA RN16 Board: Ellen Annandale, Ana Patrícia Hilário, Maria Świątkiewicz-Mośny, Francesca Sirna, Guido Giarelli, Trude Gjernes, Lia Lombardi, Marta Gibin
Local Organizing Committee: Maria Świątkiewicz-Mośny, Aleksandra Wagner, Paulina Polak, Anna Prokop-Dorner, Natalia Ożegalska-Łukasik.