• 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.

Accounting for Disease and Distress: Morals of the Normal and Abnormal
Accounting for disease and distress: Morals of the normal and abnormal
Introduction

Consideration of normality and abnormality in connection with health and illness inevitably raises questions for social scientists about just how this distinction is conceptualized and then reproduced in social practices. Further, how does the labeling of body states, or the behavior of individuals or groups of individuals as ‘normal’ or ‘abnormal’ affect their lives? Alternatively, how does the idea of being designated ‘at risk’ for future abnormalities affect daily life? Of even more interest is why the creation of a moral discourse is so often associated with ideas about normal and abnormal, even when the language and practices of biomedicine are usually assumed to ...

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