• 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.

Social Theorizing about Health and Illness
Social theorizing about health and illness

At the end of the eighteenth century a new explanatory model of illness emerged in Parisian hospitals (Ackerknecht 1967). This new model replaced the constantly shifting symptoms of humoral medicine with the novel idea that illness was a product of a specific localized pathological lesion within the body. The contemporary emergence of the clinical examination and autopsy with which to identify the lesion, and the hospital in which to capture it, represented the practical and institutional manifestations of the perception of illness. Over the subsequent two centuries this framework was extended and developed, culminating in the elaborate and sophisticated biomedical view of health and illness that exists today. The new model of disease and ...

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