This review examines three stages in the development of the sociology of health and medicine in Scandinavia. First, it describes the early adoption of the Parsonian approach as part of mainstream Scandinavian medical sociology. Second, it shows that the international feminist critique of medicine became only partially integrated at the time into the views on gender and health in Scandinavian health studies. Third, from the mid-1980s onwards Scandinavian medical sociologists have mainly conducted public health/social epidemiology research as part of an effort to map and explain the continuing health inequalities in the Scandinavian welfare states. The conclusion ponders whether the current development has weakened the distinctive feature of medical sociology - its ties to social theory.
Keywords: Medical sociology, health sociology, health inequality research, Scandinavian sociology.