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.

Health Inequalities

Health inequalities


While sociology's claim on Marx and Engels as founding fathers and its interest in social structures and the production and maintenance of social hierarchy are indisputable, the sociology of health and medicine, like its parent discipline, lacks a unity of analytic perspective (Gerhardt, 1989: xxii). Surveys often list the theoretical perspectives that can be shown to underpin or justify medical sociology's main approaches to research and the current book makes no claims to originality in this respect (see Chapter 2). The difficulty of using theoretical paradigms as the framework for an exploration of medical sociology is that the applied nature of much of the research reduces the prominence of the theoretical position adopted relative to other aspects of the work, such as ...

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