This book draws on a broad range of theoretical perspectives to bring to life social theories relating to health and illness. Using case studies it provides contrasting insights into the expanding jurisdiction of medicine over popular issues, including binge drinking, obesity, the prominence of therapy and the search for happiness. The book will appeal to students and academics to show how theory can be applied to issues in health and medicine. It is also relevant reading for health professionals who may lack knowledge of social theory and how it can help to understand the relationship between health, medicine and society. The book will also benefit students in the social sciences who are familiar with social theory and interested in how it can be applied to health, medicine and society.
"This is a powerful study of one of the most significant developments in contemporary social life." Frank Furedi, University of Kent
"This book is to be welcomed as making an important addition to our understanding of the ways in which sociological theory can enable us to understand everyday life. It not only enables us to understand the mediatisation debate from a sociological perspective but also to understand the role that sociology itself plays in the creation of discourses around social issues. " Pamela Abbott, Consultant, Institute for Policy Analysis and Research, Rwanda
Peter Kennedy is a Lecturer in Sociology in the School of Law and Social Sciences at Glasgow Caledonian University. His research interests include
health and sport.
Carole Ann Kennedy is a tutor at the Open University in Scotland and has research interests in health and social care.
Contents: Introduction and overview of the book; Health in society: medicine and the pharmaceutical industry; Politics of health: obesity and society; Social construction of health: social division and mental health; Health and moral panics: binge drinking and social order; Health and power: expanding the role of medicine through health promotion; Health and knowledge: accounting for the rise of alternative medicine; Health as culture: understanding the happiness industry; Health in a risk society: Expert and lay knowledge in the case of MMR; Reflective overview of critical perspectives on health and illness.