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

On Being Sick

On being sick

The basic position in the sociological approach to illness and disease is that being sick is fundamentally a social state of affairs rather than being a narrowly defined biochemical malfunction of the organism. Sociology is concerned to explain the social causes of sickness, the character of sickness as a social role and the human response to sickness in terms of feeling, language and social action. The notion of sickness as a social role is very closely associated with the sociology of Parsons (1951) who first conceptualized the notion of the sick role. Parsons's contribution to medical sociology has been extensive, although unfortunately the evaluation of his contribution is often confined to commentaries on the sick role. Although there has been extensive ...

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