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

Women's Complaints: Patriarchy and Illness

Women's Complaints: Patriarchy and Illness

Women's complaints: Patriarchy and illness

From the perspective of historical sociology, the construction of categories of disease and deviance appears to be closely related to the problem of the definition of social membership. Patterns of membership determine access to resources, of which power is the most significant component. We can argue that the social struggle over deviance and disease is a political conflict over the distribution of power. These boundaries of society, both cultural and physical, are managed and policed by certain elite groups within the community whose management of knowledge and power gives them a controlling surveillance over the construction and distribution of resources. We can quite legitimately treat health and illness as resources, alongside power, wealth and prestige. The ...

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