The Sociology of Health and Illness by Sarah Nettleton
This study provides an introduction to key contemporary debates within the sociology of health and illness. It integrates the core tenets of traditional medical sociology with some of the fresh insights of the more current literature in the sociology of health and illness. It is written primarily for students of the social sciences who opt to study the field of health and illness in greater depth. 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 contents of the text span 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throughout the book is that we are moving towards a new paradigm of health and health care, one in which people are no longer active participants in the maintenance of their own health.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.