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Health, Development and ‘The Sick Role’ in Putulnacher Itikatha and Arogyaniketan


‘The Sick Role’, a concept developed by Talcott Parsons constitutes a specific sociological concern regarding the diseased identity in society. In light of this approach, the doctor-patient relationship, ideally based on a paternal-authoritative model, needs to be viewed beyond its intersubjective nature, since the diseased and dependent body is not only that of an ‘individual’, but also a part of society. The involvement of the doctor, or the local administration, in health and development, makes the issue significant— in terms of Medical Humanities, seen through a literary-sociological perspective. This paper proposes to explore the notion of ‘the sick role’ with reference to two Bengali texts by Manik Bandyopadhyay and Tarasankar Bandyopadhyay, featuring the colonial and post-independent situations of healthcare and development in Bengal.

Keywords: Colonial, Development, Doctor-Patient relationship, Healthcare, Talcott Parsons, ‘The Sick Role’

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