An Introduction to the Sociology of Health and Illness

An Introduction to the Sociology of Health and Illness

by Kevin White

ISBN-10: 0761963995

ISBN-13: 9780761963998

Pub. Date: 05/28/2002

Publisher: SAGE Publications

This book does exactly what it says on the tin!


This book does exactly what it says on the tin!

Product Details

SAGE Publications
Publication date:
Edition description:
First Edition
Product dimensions:
6.69(w) x 9.53(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

List of Boxes, Case Studies and Tables ix

Acknowledgements xi

1 Introduction 1

Sociology, Genetics, Social Mobility and Lifestyle 2

The Sociological Perspective 4

Postmodernity and Sociology 5

Sociological Approaches to Health and Illness 6

Political Economy and Marxist Approaches 7

Parsonian Sociology of Health 8

Foucault's Sociology of Health 9

Feminist Approaches 9

Bringing the Approaches Together 10

Conclusion 12

Summary 13

Further Reading 13

2 The Social Construction of Medical Knowledge 14

Making Reality Problematic: The Problem of the Medical Model of Disease 17

Medical Knowledge Mediates Social Relations 20

Masturbatory Insanity 20

Hysteria 21

The Technical Realm of Medical Practice 22

Medical Technology and Social Relations 22

The Sociology of Medical Knowledge 24

Fleck and Representations 25

Fleck's Sociology of Medical Knowledge 25

Syphilis 26

Anatomical Drawings 27

Fleck, Foucault and Kuhn 28

Applying Fleck 29

Conclusion 30

Summary 31

Further Reading 32

3 The Development of the Sociology of Health 33

The Relationship Between Sociology and Medicine 33

Medical Bias in the Sociology of Health 35

Challenging Medicine 36

Social Aspects of Disease - The Critique of the Medical Model 37

Key Concepts in the Sociology of Health 40

The Concept of Medicalization 41

Disease: Nature or Society? 42

Medicalization and Women 43

The Social Functions of Medical Knowledge and Practice 44

The Development of Medicalization 45

Case Study: Gambling 46

Case Study: Alcoholism 47

Developments in the Medical Profession 49

Characteristics of the Medicalization of Society 50

Case Study:Learning Disabilities, Dyslexia and the Medicalization of the Classroom 51

Assessing Medicalization 52

Conclusion 53

Summary 53

Further Reading 54

4 Postmodernity, Epidemiology and Neo-Liberalism 55

Postmodernity 56

Liberalism and the Development of Neo-Liberalism in Health Policy 59

The Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries 59

The Dismantling of Welfare and the Resurgence of Neo-Liberalism 60

Epidemiology: The Early Foundations 61

Limitations of the Risk Factor and Lifestyle Explanations 63

Developing a Sociological Model of Disease: Disease Classified by Social Cause 64

Epidemiology and Statistics 65

Psycho-social Perspectives on Social Inequalities in Health 67

Stress 68

Social Support 69

The Social Drift Hypothesis 70

Talking About the Diseased Self 71

Community, Social Capital and Inequality 72

Social Capital 75

Social Capital or Income Inequality? 77

Conclusion 78

Summary 79

Further Reading 79

5 Materialist Approaches to the Sociology of Health 80

What Causes Disease: The Materialist Explanation 81

Occupation 82

Diet 83

Housing 83

Case Study: Transformations in the Social Structure of Eastern Europe 84

Class as Occupational Position 85

Untangling Class and Socio-economic Status 87

Structural Position as Socio-economic Status 88

The Classical Marxist Approach 90

The Political and Economic Functions of Medicine 91

The Medical Profession in a Marxist Analysis 93

Modifications of Classical Marxism and Changes in Capitalism 94

Changes in Class Theory and the Sociology of Health 95

Transformations of the Medical Profession: The Australian Example 96

Technological Change 98

Commodification 100

Corporate Medicine 101

Conclusion 103

Summary 104

Further Reading 104

6 Parsons, American Sociology of Medicine and the Sick Role 105

Parsons and the Professions 107

Diagnostic Variations 109

Prescribing Activities 109

Parsons: People Act Rather Than Behave 110

The Sick Role 113

In Defence of the Sick Role 114

Sickness and American Values 116

The End of the Golden Age of Doctoring 117

Conclusion 117

Summary 118

Further Reading 118

7 Foucault and the Sociology of Medical Knowledge 119

Foucault: The Most General Picture 119

Foucault's Sociology of Health 121

Disciplines of Knowledge, Disciplines of Power: Power/Knowledge 122

Foucault's History of Medicine 123

The Body 124

Historical and Metaphorical Representations of the Body 125

Foucault's Body 127

The Anatomico-Metaphysical Register of the Body 128

The Technico-Political Register of the Body 128

Conclusion 130

Summary 131

Further Reading 131

8 Health, Gender and Feminism 132

Why are There More Women Patients? 134

Medicalization 137

Are Women More Depressed than Men? 138

Different Forms of Feminism 139

Liberal Feminism 139

Radical Feminism 140

Marxist Feminism 141

Patriarchal Science and Medicine 142

Feminism and the Critique of Technology 143

Case Study: Foucault and Feminism and the Body 145

Bringing Out the Foucauldian-Feminist Position: Screening 147

Men, Gender and Health 149

Conclusion 152

Summary 153

Further Reading 153

9 Race, Ethnicity and Health 155

Race 156

Ethnicity 158

Aboriginality, 'Race' and Disease 159

Racist Bias in Drug Trials 161

Problems with the Appropriation of Ethnicity in Medical Explanations 162

The Genetic Explanation 163

The Appeal of the Genetic Explanation 164

The Sociological Critique of Genetics 166

Conclusion 168

Summary 168

Further Reading 169

10 Conclusion 170

Bibliography 174

Index 200

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