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

Professions, Knowledge and Power

Professions, knowledge and power

The analysis of the role of professions in society is well established as a topic in sociology. For sociologists writing in the tradition of Durkheim (1992) and Parsons the liberal professions represented the institutionalization of altruistic values, since the professions were, within the social division of labour, officially committed to various forms of personal service and community welfare; their social role was meant to embody a disinterested commitment to community values (Holton and Turner, 1986). For Parsons (1939), professional service to the client represented an important alternative to the rational egoism of the capitalist market place In a similar fashion, it is possible to detect in Weber's analysis (Ray and Reed, 1994) of the professional vocation or calling in ...

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