An Introduction to the Sociology of Health and Illness

An Introduction to the Sociology of Health and Illness

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By (author) Kevin White

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  • Publisher: Sage Publications Ltd
  • Format: Paperback | 216 pages
  • Dimensions: 168mm x 238mm x 14mm | 399g
  • Publication date: 14 January 2009
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1412918790
  • ISBN 13: 9781412918794
  • Edition: 2, Revised
  • Edition statement: 2nd Revised edition
  • Illustrations note: black & white tables
  • Sales rank: 136,335

Product description

"Kevin White guides us through the many reasons for the centrality of health showing clearly that health and illness are the products not just of our biology but of the society into which we are born. He expertly draws on the works of Parsons, Marx, Foucault and feminist writers to provide an authoritative analysis of the social nature of health." (Ray Fitzpatrick, University of Oxford). "I have used this book for many years because it is so well written, and it is easy for the students to understand." (Julianne Law, Bangor University). "An excellent introductory text to help the students to begin to critically analyse different perspectives on health." (Debbie Chittenden, University of Bolton). This is a new edition of the best-selling textbook for students of the sociology of health and illness. Free of jargon, intuitive about student needs and well versed in course requirements, Kevin White's book is used widely across both health and sociology schools.

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Author information

Kevin White is Reader in Sociology at the Australian National University

Review quote

'Kevin White guides us through the many reasons for the centrality of health showing clearly that health and illness are the products not just of our biology but of the society into which we are born. He expertly draws on the works of Parsons, Marx, Foucault and feminist writers to provide an authoritative analysis of the social nature of health' - Ray Fitzpatrick, University of Oxford 'The overall arguments being made are thoroughly sociological, and the chapters provide great overviews and insights that even those in the field will find useful. The chapters in the text are very stimulating, and White calls on a variety of perspectives to flesh out the arguments he makes. I would certainly recommend the text for introductory courses. The invigorating style should be attractive to students' - eSocHealth

Table of contents

INTRODUCTION Sociology, Genetics, Social Mobility and Lifestyle The Sociological Perspective Postmodernity and Sociology Sociological Approaches to Health and Illness Political Economy and Marxist Approaches Parsonian Sociology of Health Foucault's Sociology of Health Feminist Approaches Bringing the Approaches Together THE SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION OF MEDICAL KNOWLEDGE Making Reality Problematic: The Problem of the Medical Model of Disease Medical Knowledge Mediates Social Relations Masturbatory Insanity Hysteria The Technical Realm of Medical Practice Medical Technology and Social Relations The Sociology of Medical Knowledge Fleck and Representations Fleck's Sociology of Medical Knowledge Syphilis Anatomical Drawings Fleck, Foucault and Kuhn Applying Fleck THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE SOCIOLOGY OF HEALTH The Relationship Between Sociology and Medicine Medical Bias in the Sociology of Health Challenging Medicine Social Aspects of Disease - The Critique of the Medical Model Key Concepts in the Sociology of Health The Concept of Medicalization Disease: Nature or Society? Medicalization and Women The Social Functions of Medical Knowledge and Practice The Development of Medicalization Case Study: Gambling Case Study: Alcoholism Developments in the Medical Profession Characteristics of the Medicalization of Society Case Study: Learning Disabilities, Dyslexia and the Medicalization of the Classroom Assessing Medicalization POSTMODERNITY, EPIDEMIOLOGY, AND NEO-LIBERALISM Postmodernity Liberalism and the Development of Neo-Liberalism in Health Policy The Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries The Dismantling of Welfare and the Resurgence of Neo-Liberalism Epidemiology: The Early Foundations Limitations of the Risk Factor and Lifestyle Explanations Developing a Sociological Model of Disease: Disease Classified by Social Cause Epidemiology and Statistics Psycho-social Perspectives on Social Inequalities in Health Stress Social Support The Social Drift Hypothesis Talking About the Diseased Self Community, Social Capital and Inequality Social Capital Social Capital or Income Inequality? MATERIALIST APPROACHES TO THE SOCIOLOGY OF HEALTH What Causes Disease: The Materialist Explanation Occupation Diet Housing Case Study: Transformations in the Social Structure of Eastern Europe Class as Occupational Position Untangling Class and Socio-economic Status Structural Position as Socio-economic Status The Classical Marxist Approach The Political and Economic Functions of Medicine The Medical Profession in a Marxist Analysis Modifications of Classical Marxism and Changes in Capitalism Changes in Class Theory and the Sociology of Health Transformations of the Medical Profession: The Australian Example Technological Change Commodification Corporate Medicine PARSONS, AMERICAN SOCIOLOGY OF MEDICINE AND THE SICK ROLE Diagnostic Variations Prescribing Activities Parsons: People Act Rather Than Behave The Sick Role In Defence of the Sick Role Sickness and American Values The End of the Golden Age of Doctoring FOUCAULT AND THE SOCIOLOGY OF MEDICAL KNOWLEDGE Foucault: The Most General Picture Foucault's Sociology of Health Disciplines of Knowledge, Disciplines of Power: Power/Knowledge Foucault's History of Medicine The Body Historical and Metaphorical Representations of the Body Foucault's Body The Anatomico-Metaphysical Register of the Body Technico-Political Register of the Body HEALTH, GENDER AND FEMINISM Why are There More Women Patients? Medicalization Are Women More Depressed than Men? Different Forms of Feminism Liberal Feminism Radical Feminism Marxist Feminism Patriarchal Science and Medicine Feminism and the Critique of Technology Case Study: Foucault and Feminism and the Body Bringing Out the Foucauldian-Feminist Position: Screening Men, Gender and Health RACE, ETHNICITY AND HEALTH Race Ethnicity Aboriginality, 'Race' and Disease Racist Bias in Drug Trials Problems with the Appropriation of Ethnicity in Medical Explanations The Genetic Explanation The Appeal of the Genetic Explanation The Sociological Critique of Genetics CONCLUSION