• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

`An intelligent and informed account of medical sociology. Simon Williams has produced an original and comprehensive sociological statement of the centrality of the body to an understanding of medicine, health and illness. His scope is impressive... It will shape future teaching and research in the field of health and illness' - Bryan S Turner, Professor of Sociology, University of Cambridge This is a clear, well-written account of medicine, health and the body. Taking recent debates on the body and society as its point of departure, the book critically reexamines a series of embodied issues and emotional agendas in health and illness. Included here are cutting edge discussions and debates concerning: - the medicalized body - health inequalities - childhood and ageing - the dilemmas of high-tech medicine - chronic illness and disability - caring and (bio)ethics - sleep, death and dying - the body in late/postmodernity Written in an accessible, engaging style, with many original and innovative insights, the book will appeal to undergraduate and postgraduate students alike, and to researchers and lecturers with an interest in the embodied agendas of health and medicine in the new millennium.

The Biomedical Body: Reductionism, Constructionism and Beyond
The biomedical body: Reductionism, constructionism and beyond

In this opening chapter I want to take another look at what, for some seasoned readers, may seem like old, familiar, well-trodden turf: the medicalization debate, that is to say, both past and present. My aim, in doing so, is not simply to throw the ‘limits’ of biomedicine (yet again) into critical relief, reductionist or otherwise, but to turn the glare of the spotlight on the ‘limits’ of sociology itself, particularly its constructionist variants, together with broader ‘imperialist’ debates. Consideration of these issues raises associated questions of crucial importance concerning the nature and status of the biological, within and beyond the sociology of health and illness. It is with these issues in ...

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