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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
"This book will be essential reading for all those seeking to understand health and those involved in the delivery of healthcare. It includes both classic and contemporary source material and synthesizes these with clarity but not oversimplification; few scholars ever achieve such a feat. This book should be on all of our bookshelves."

International Journal of Epidemiology

"This lively and eminently readable book provides a succinct account of current thinking and research on the concept of health, and especially its link with social processes. Written by a foremost international expert on the subject, Mildred Blaxter’s Health has marshalled a wealth of information from the USA, the UK and other countries on different dimensions and ideas about health- and how they have changed over time. The book will be essential reading for all students with an interest in health, especially medical students. It will set the standard for years to come."

Mike Bury, University of London

"An indespensable book for anyone interested in sociological thinking on the meaning of health in society today. Impressive in scope and written ina lively and engaging style, Health highlights the relationship between how we think about and experience health and illness and the organisation of society. It will be of great interest to social scientists and health practitioners."

Ellen Annandale, University of Leicester

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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 Honorary Professor of Medical Sociology at the School of Medicine, Health Policy and Practice, University of East Anglia.
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Table of Contents

1. How is health defined?.

2. How is health constructed?.

3. How is health experienced?.

4. How is health enacted?.

5. How is health related to social systems?.

6. Where is the concept of health going in the contemporary world?.

7. Conclusion.

Index

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