• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

This is the first international and inter-disciplinary social science Handbook on health and medicine. Five years in the making, and building on the insights and advice of an international editorial board, the book brings together world-class figures to provide an indispensable, comprehensive resource book on social science, health and medicine. Pinpointing the focal issues of research and debate in one volume, the material is organized into three sections: social and cultural frameworks of analysis; the experience of health and illness; and health care systems and practices. Each section consists of specially commissioned chapters designed to examine the vital conceptual and methodological practice and policy issues.

Critical Perspectives on Health and Aging
Critical perspectives on health and aging
Introduction: What is the Field of Critical Health and Aging?

Critical approaches to health and aging employ a variety of theoretical perspectives including political economy, feminist theories, and humanistic gerontology (Minkler and Estes 1998; Phillipson 1996). These perspectives examine social issues in ways that challenge dominant or mainstream thinking, and reveal underlying ideological justifications of existing structural arrangements and resource distributions that affect health and aging. As such, these perspectives are open to multiple and alternative accounts of social processes, such as current concerns and debates regarding the aging population and the impact this will have on societies around the world.

As social and health policy interests regarding the aging of the population have intensified in ...

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