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

Madness and Psychiatry

Madness and psychiatry

In this chapter, I am concerned with three aspects of the sociology of mental health and illness. First, taking as a point of departure Michel Foucault's revision of the progressive, liberal theory of the history of madness, various perspectives on the nature, character and historical development of concepts and treatments of insanity are examined. Secondly, I will look at the recent reversal of the asylum policy, which has given way to deinstitutionalization and community mental health reforms. The connection of the political economy of privatization with these reforms will be emphasized in the case examples of Britain and the United States of America. The Italian model of deinstitutionalization, based on the work of Franco Basaglia, is also compared. Finally, I ...

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