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The Sociology of Health and Illness Paperback – July 4, 2006

ISBN-13: 978-0745628288 ISBN-10: 0745628281 Edition: 2nd

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Polity; 2 edition (July 4, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0745628281
  • ISBN-13: 978-0745628288
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 1 x 9.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,695,322 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"The second edition of this excellent text book has been thoroughly revised and brought up to date. It remains a clear and comprehensive text which offers a sound basis to students of medical sociology."

Mildred Blaxter, University of Bristol

"Sarah Nettleton’s Sociology of Health and Illness has become a major text for students studying medical sociology. This second edition is a welcome event. All the key topics are presented in a lively, concise and informative way. Its up-to-date treatment of changes in research and health care is essential reading for those attempting to understand matters medical in today’s fast changing environment."

Mike Bury, University of London

"Sarah Nettleton provides a well-written, engaging, and theoretically-informed discussion of health sociology in modern Britain. It is the most up-to-date account of the field available. Relying largely on a social constructionist perspective, she nevertheless blends relevant classical and contemporary theories into her explanation of key concepts and issues. In doing so, Professor Nettleton destroys the notion that health sociology is atheoretical and she accomplishes this in a highly readable and instructive work."

William C. Cockerham, University of Alabama at Birmingham

"In The Sociology of Health and Illness, Sarah Nettleton provides a lively, balanced, up-to-date introduction to medical sociology. While drawing extensively on British literature and experience, it ought to be widely adopted in the United States, where there is a need for the new perspectives being developed by our British colleagues. I would recommend it as a textbook for undergraduate sociology: it also discusses issues of interest to health economists, health services researchers, and health care policy-makers."

John B. McKinlay, Institute for Community Health Studies, Watertown

From the Back Cover

Thoroughly revised and fully updated, the second edition of Sarah Nettleton’s book will prove invaluable to anyone looking for a clear and accessible introduction to key contemporary debates within the sociology of health and illness. The book builds on the first edition’s success, integrating the core tenets of traditional medical sociology with some fresh insights from the current literature. New material is found throughout , including discussions of the new genetics, food and eating, e-health, the MMR debate, embryo stem cell research, recent approaches to health inequalities, and the health implications of the information age. Carefully annotated suggested further readings have been added to each chapter, to help extend students’ learning and thinking.

The book aims to provide students with a thorough grounding in the area of the sociology of health and illness. As such it covers a diversity of topics and draws on a wide range of analytic approaches. The text spans issues such as the social construction of medical knowledge, the analysis of lay health knowledge and beliefs, concepts of lifestyles and risk, the experience of illness and the sociology of the body. It also explores matters which are central to health policy, such as professional-patient relationships, health inequalities and the changing nature of health care work. A central theme which runs throughout the book is that we are moving towards a new paradigm of health and health care, one in which people are no longer passive recipients of treatment when they are ill, but are active participants in the maintenance of their own health. This is reflected in contemporary health policy which emphasizes health promotion, community health care and consumerism.

The book is written primarily for students of thte social sciences who opt to study the field of health and illness in greater depth, but will also appeal to students taking vocational degrees requiring a sociological grounding in the area.

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