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.

The Workings of Medicine

The workings of medicine


The sociology of health, illness and medicine has been reluctant to get to grips with health policy, although interested in professional–patient interactions. The study of the day-to-day provision of health services is the preserve of health services research – an area that medical sociology can comfort itself by characterizing as descriptive and atheoretical. This chapter covers sociological approaches to the practice of medicine in the policy environment in which professionals must work. The state plays a central role in the provision of health and social care and in debates about the decline of medical dominance, its regulatory agencies are key. As noted in the prologue, early sociologists did not focus on medicine as an institution that was shaping ...

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