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

Aging, Dying and Death

Aging, dying and death

Aging is an important topic in medical sociology for at least two major reasons. First, the nature and prevalence of modern disease are closely connected with the aging of modern populations. Secondly, the aging of the populations of industrial societies has a very significant social impact on the economic performance of modern capitalism because of the growth of so-called dependent populations following retirement. In modern industrial societies, there has been a significant decline in infectious diseases (especially whooping cough, measles, diphtheria and scarlet fever) since the Second World War. These changes are partly explained by the introduction of antimicrobe drugs between 1941 and 1951 (McDermott, 1980; Mumford, 1983). The longer term social causes of these demographic changes included ...

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