Sharp, bold and engaging, this book provides a contemporary account of why medical sociology matters in our modern society.

Combining theoretical and empirical perspectives, and applying the pragmatic demands of policy, this timely book explores society's response to key issues such as race, gender and identity to explain the relationship between sociology, medicine and medical sociology.

Each chapter includes an authoritative introduction to pertinent areas of debate, a clear summary of key issues and themes and dedicated bibliography.

Chapters include: social theory and medical sociology; health inequalities; bodies, pain and suffering personal, local and global.

Brimming with fresh interpretations and critical insights this book will contribute to illuminating the practical realities of medical sociology.

This exciting text will be of interest to students of sociology of health and illness, medical sociology, and sociology of the body.

Prologue: Sociology, Medicine and Medical Sociology

Prologue: Sociology, medicine and medical sociology


Do all disciplines fret over the state of their own intellectual and policy-relevant health? Is it a symptom of our hyper-reflexive and confessional times that collective anxiety has to be rehearsed over the track record, and present and projected performance of a group of scholars? Medical sociology's lengthy reflections on the state of its own practice are recognizable as part of a more general trend, whereby the certainties of bodies of knowledge and the limits of disciplinary boundaries have been undermined in the light of post-structuralist thought. As sociology examines the social construction of various forms of knowledge, in particular socio-cultural contexts, how could its practitioners avoid turning the analysis on itself? Sociology's particular ...

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