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  • Contents

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?

Quality of Life
Quality of life
Mary Boulton

The term ‘quality of life’ has been used in many contexts. It first came into common parlance in the USA at the end of the Second World War to refer to the possession of material goods - for example, a car, telephone, or washing machine - which made life ‘better’. Following the social movements of the 1960s (for example, civil rights, second wave feminism, youth counterculture and the New Left), material ‘standard of living’ was more clearly distinguished from the experience of personal freedom, autonomy and fulfilment. Hence, quality of ...

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