How do we understand health in relation to society? What role does culture play in shaping our experiences of, and orientation to, health and illness? How do we understand medicine and medical treatment within a sociological framework?


Gillian Bendelow

Traditionally, theories of emotion have been dominated by psychosocial approaches that emphasize the biological origins of instinctive survival mechanisms known as ‘signal functioning’. This is popularly understood through examples such as ‘fight or flight’ reactions involving surges of adrenaline, which are interpreted as fear or anxiety. Although these accounts do provide an explanation of physical ‘symptoms’ - or feelings which are activated by cognitive awareness - they largely ignore, or under-emphasize, the importance of socio-cultural meanings and the structural divisions that frame emotional expression. Moreover, ...

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