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

Capitalism, Class and Illness

Capitalism, class and illness

Medical sociology was profoundly influenced in the 1970s and 1980s by neo-Marxist sociology and by the perspective of political economy. The basic argument of these approaches was that the morbidity and mortality characteristics of contemporary societies were to be explained primarily by the nature of capitalist production. The demand for profitability in a capitalist enterprise results in the exploitation and alienation of a large section of the population; it is the exploitative character of work in capitalism which explains both the importance of occupational illness and also the problematic character of retirement and leisure. Because in capitalism health becomes a commodity like other commodities in the market place, the delivery of health in turn is shaped by the ...

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