Debating Biology / Edition 1

Debating Biology / Edition 1

by Gillian Bendelow
     
 

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ISBN-10: 041527902X

ISBN-13: 9780415279024

Pub. Date: 07/30/2003

Publisher: Taylor & Francis

Relations between the biological and social sciences have been hotly contested and debated over the years. The uses and abuses of biology, not least to legitimate or naturalize social inequalities and to limit freedoms, have rightly been condemned. All too often, however the style of debate has been reductionist and ultimately unfruitful. As we enter an age in

Overview

Relations between the biological and social sciences have been hotly contested and debated over the years. The uses and abuses of biology, not least to legitimate or naturalize social inequalities and to limit freedoms, have rightly been condemned. All too often, however the style of debate has been reductionist and ultimately unfruitful. As we enter an age in which ultr-Darwinian forms of explanation gather momentum and the bio-tech revolution threatens a 'Brave New World' of possibilities, there is urgent need to re-open the dialogue and rethink these issues in more productive ways.

Debating Biology takes a fresh look at the relationship between biology and society as it is played out in the arena of health and medicine. Bringing together contributions from both biologists and sociologists, the book is divided into five themed sections:

- Theorising Biology draws on a range of critical perspectives to discuss the case or 'bringing back' the biological into sociology.
- Structuring Biology focuses on the interplay between biological and social factors in the 'patterning' of health and illness.
- Embodying Biology examines the relationship between the lived body and the biological body
- Technologizing Biology takes up the multiple relations between biology, science and technology.
- Reclaiming Biology looks at the broader ethical and political agendas.

Written in an accessible and engaging style, this timely volume will appeal to a wide audience within and beyond the social sciences, including students, lecturers and researchers in health and related domains.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780415279024
Publisher:
Taylor & Francis
Publication date:
07/30/2003
Pages:
336
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.88(d)

Table of Contents

Contributorsviii
Introduction: Debating biology1
Part ITheorizing biology: Critical perspectives13
1Evolution and human disease: Bridging the biology/culture gap15
2Ultra-Darwinism and health: The limits to evolutionary psychology27
3Shaping biology: Feminism and the idea of 'the biological'39
4Realist agendas on biology, health and medicine: Some thoughts and reflections53
Part IIStructuring biology: Inequalities in health67
5Biology, social class and inequalities in health: Their synthesis in 'health capital'69
6Gender and health status: Does biology matter?84
7Ethnicity and health: Biological and social inheritance96
8The 'biological clock'? Ageing, health and the body across the lifecourse109
Part IIIEmbodying biology: Corporeal matters121
9The problem with sex/gender and nature/nurture123
10Childhood bodies: Constructionism and beyond133
11Hormonal bodies, civilized bodies: Incorporating the biological into the sociology of health145
12Incorporating the biological: Chronic illness, bodies, selves, and the material world157
13'Liminal' bodies? Sleep, death and dying169
Part IVTechnologizing/medicalizing biology: A Brave New World?183
14Investing in mothering: Reproduction, sex selective technologies and biological capital in an Indian case study185
15Rights, risks and responsibilities: New genetics and disabled people198
16A normal biological process? Brittle bones, HRT and the patient-doctor encounter210
17Enhancing biology? Cosmetic surgery and breast augmentation223
18Through the lenses of biology and sociology: Organ replacement235
19Prozac nation and the biochemical self: A critique245
Part VReclaiming biology: (Bio)ethics and beyond259
20The bioethics of biotechnology: Alternative claims of posthuman futures261
21Biology, vulnerability and politics271
22Ecology, health and society: A red-green perspective283
23A metaphysics for alternative medicine: 'Translating' the social and biological worlds298
Index311

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