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

The Regulation of Bodies

The regulation of bodies

Towards a General Theory in Medical Sociology

Medical sociology is a complex and diverse component within contemporary sociology, covering and addressing a variety of issues and topics related to medical institutions, health-care systems and illness behaviour. In recent years this sub-discipline has been considerably expanded both in subject matter and in terms of perspectives. In addition, as we have seen, there is considerable dispute as to whether this area of inquiry should be called ‘medical sociology’ or ‘the sociology of health and illness’ (Conrad and Kern, 1985). Furthermore, I have added the complication that to some extent we can regard medical sociology as a form of applied medicine, and we can regard social medicine as an aspect of applied sociology. ...

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