`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.

What is Health? Thinking through the Boundaries of the Body

What is Health? Thinking through the Boundaries of the Body

What is health? Thinking through the boundaries of the body

We need only reflect that it is quite meaningful to ask someone ‘Do you feel ill?’, but it. would be quite absurd to ask someone ‘Do you feel healthy?’ Health is not a condition that one introspectively feels in oneself. Rather, it is a condition of being involved, of being in the world, of being together with one's fellow human beings, of active and rewarding engagement with one's everyday tasks. (Gadamer 1996: 113)

A key question to confront at an early stage in this book concerns the very notion and nature of health. Medical sociology, it is fair to say, has traditionally been concerned with matters of ...

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