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Work Stress: The Making of a Modern Epidemic
     

Work Stress: The Making of a Modern Epidemic

by David Wainwright, Michael Calnan
 
We are facing an epidemic of work stress. But why should problems at work which previously led to industrial disputes and political activity now be experienced as a cause of physical or mental illness? This book combines a critique of the scientific evidence relating to work stress, with an account of the social, historical and cultural changes that produced this

Overview

We are facing an epidemic of work stress. But why should problems at work which previously led to industrial disputes and political activity now be experienced as a cause of physical or mental illness? This book combines a critique of the scientific evidence relating to work stress, with an account of the social, historical and cultural changes that produced this phenomenon. The analysis is grounded in workers' accounts of their experiences of work stress, derived from the authors' qualitative research. Sociological theories of embodiment, emotions and medicalization are employed to explore the role of subjectivity in mediating the relationship between work and ill health.

This book concludes with an exploration of the consequences of adopting the passive identity of 'work stress victim', and the extent to which individuals resist the medicalization of their problems. It will be of interest to a range of students and researchers in the social sciences, particularly those with an interest in medical sociology, sociology of work, management studies and industrial relations.

Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Wainwright and Calnan (both in medical sociology, at Bristol U., UK) base their analysis of work stress on its documentation in various sources, including litigation, government policy, trade unionism, employers' organizations and the media, as well as a qualitative study of lay accounts. Work stress is defined according to various disciplines, the historical definition and treatment are critiqued, and the sociological approach is described. The study then turns to the interesting question of why work stress is more prevalent now, concluding that new attitudes and cultural changes play a role. Distributed by Taylor & Francis. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780335207084
Publisher:
McGraw-Hill Education
Publication date:
10/28/2002
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
5.91(w) x 9.06(h) x (d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

David Wainwright is a Research Fellow in the Social Medicine Department at Bristol University. His background is in the sociology of health and illness and he has spent the last five years researching and writing about the work stress phenomenon.

Michael Calnan is Professor of Medical Sociology in the Social Medicine Department at Bristol University. He has conducted extensive research and published widely on the topics of lay perceptions of health and illness and the National Health Service.

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