The fully revised edition of this successful textbook provides a comprehensive introduction to medical sociology and an assessment of its significance for social theory and the social sciences. It includes a completely revised chapter on mental health and new chapters on the sociology of the body and on the relationship between health and risk in contemporary societies. Bryan S Turner considers the ways in which different social theorists have interpreted the experience of health and disease, and the social relations and power structures involved in medical practice. He examines health as an aspect of social action and looks at the subject of health at three levels - the individual, the social and the societal. Among the pe
In 1987 when Medical Power and Social Knowledge first appeared, medical sociology did not have a sophisticated or systematic theoretical framework or tradition. Medical sociology was typically an applied social science with a commitment to problems defined by medical research agencies rather than by the sociological community. In the original text I was concerned to import many of the ideas of philosophers like Michel Foucault into the analysis of medical issues, because his approach offered a systematic approach to medical institutions, governmentality and the human body. It is important to note that to some extent medical anthropology, particularly where it has had a focus on comparative issues, has enjoyed a greater degree of theoretical sophistication with regard to cultural nuance and a greater ...