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

Religion and Medicine: From Sin to Sickness

Religion and medicine: From sin to sickness

In the opening sections of this study, it has been argued that medical sociology needs to incorporate a sociology of knowledge approach to medical categories, since what it is to be sick will depend upon the available cultural categories by which behaviour can be described and understood. Just as the sociology of religion has to ask what is religion, so medical sociology has to concern itself with the historical and comparative constitution of health and disease as social phenomena. It is well known for example that western categories of health and therapeutics are in important ways vastly different from those which have operated historically in China (Unschuld, 1985). This question is not ...

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