An Introduction to the Sociology of Health & Illness

An Introduction to the Sociology of Health & Illness

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"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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Product details

  • Paperback | 216 pages
  • 168 x 238 x 14mm | 399.16g
  • Thousand Oaks, United States
  • English
  • Revised
  • 2nd Revised edition
  • black & white tables
  • 1412918790
  • 9781412918794
  • 238,028

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
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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
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About Kevin White

Kevin White is Reader in Sociology at the Australian National University, Canberra. He has held appointments at Flinders University, Wollongong University and Victoria University, Wellington New Zealand. He has published widely in the sociology of health and in the social history of medicine. At ANU he lectures the large introductory class, Introduction to Social Psychology, The Sociology of Health and Illness, Classical Social theory and Qualitative Methods.
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Rating details

8 ratings
4.37 out of 5 stars
5 62% (5)
4 25% (2)
3 0% (0)
2 12% (1)
1 0% (0)
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