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Overview

This book provides a comprehensive and highly readable introduction to the key debates surrounding the concept of health today. It discusses how health is defined, constructed, experienced and acted out in contemporary developed societies, drawing on a range of empirical data and theoretical approaches from the USA, Britain, France, Germany and other countries. Throughout the text special emphasis is given to the lay perspective to show how people themselves think about and experience health and illness. The author guides students through all the relevant conceptual models of the relationship of health to the structure of society, from inequality in health to the ideas of social capital, the risk society and theories of evolutionary biology. The book concludes with a thought-provoking discussion of the impact of new knowledge and technology on our understanding of health and illness in the contemporary world. Health will be an invaluable textbook for students of medicine and other health professions, as well as those studying sociology, health sciences and health promotion.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A great text: revised and updated for students of health, whatever their discipline or background. Changes in science, technology and our understanding of the body are among the many important topics covered. Mildred Blaxter writes in a lucid style and has a command of her material that is second to none. Highly recommended."
Mike Bury, Royal Holloway, University of London

"Updated and with new material, this book provides a fascinating insight into the phenomenon of health and how it is defined, constructed, expressed and experienced. Written in a clear and engaging style, it is an indispensable resource for students and researchers in the health and social sciences."
Ellen Annandale, University of Leicester

"This fine book takes sociological perspectives of health as a point of departure, while at the same time increasing our understanding of illness. Students and professionals alike will benefit from Blaxter's clear and succinct presentation."
Peter Conrad, Brandeis University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780745630830
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 3/28/2004
  • Series: Polity Key Concepts in the Social Sciences Series , #33
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 176
  • Product dimensions: 5.44 (w) x 8.52 (h) x 0.53 (d)

Meet the Author

Mildred Blaxter is Hon. Professor of Medical Sociology at the Department of Social Medicine, University of Bristol.
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Table of Contents

1 How is health defined? 4
2 How is health constructed? 26
3 How is health experienced? 45
4 How is health enacted? 71
5 How is health related to social systems? 91
6 Where is the concept of health going in the contemporary world? 122
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