Biomedicine Examined

Front Cover
M. Lock, D. Gordon
Springer Science & Business Media, Aug 31, 1988 - Social Science - 558 pages
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The culture of contemporary medicine is the object of investigation in this book; the meanings and values implicit in biomedical knowledge and practice and the social processes through which they are produced are examined through the use of specific case studies. The essays provide examples of how various facets of 20th century medicine, including edu cation, research, the creation of medical knowledge, the development and application of technology, and day to day medical practice, are per vaded by a value system characteristic of an industrial-capitalistic view of the world in which the idea that science represents an objective and value free body of knowledge is dominant. The authors of the essays are sociologists and anthropologists (in almost equal numbers); also included are papers by a social historian and by three physicians all of whom have steeped themselves in the social sci ences and humanities. This co-operative endeavor, which has necessi tated the breaking down of disciplinary barriers to some extent, is per haps indicative of a larger movement in the social sciences, one in which there is a searching for a middle ground between grand theory and attempts at universal explanations on the one hand, and the context-spe cific empiricism and relativistic accounts characteristic of many historical and anthropological analyses on the other.
 

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Contents

Introduction
3
Introduction to the Essays
11
MIND BODY VALUES AND SOCIETY
17
Tenacious Assumptions in Western Medicine
19
Hidden Values in Biomedicine
57
The Social Construction of Psychosomatic Disorders
95
REPRODUCING MEDICAL PERCEPTION AND PRACTICE
123
Medical Students and the Cadaver in Social and Cultural Context
125
The Social Construction of Infant Care as a Medical Problem in England in the Years Around 1900
299
The Creation of Definitions in Biomedicine
331
The Definition of Dying by Medical Residents
351
BIOMEDICAL KNOWLEDGE AND PRACTICE ACROSS CULTURES
375
Interpretations of School Refusal in Japan
377
The Treatment of Nervios in Costa Rica
415
CONSTRUCTING THE ORDINARY OUT OF THE EXTRAORDINARY
439
Physicians and the Disclosure of Undesirable Information
441

Medical Care in the Home
155
Reproducing Normal Medicine
179
MEDICINE EVOLVING MEDICINE ADAPTING
205
Space and Time in British General Practice
207
Concepts and Constructs in General Practice
227
Changing Boundaries Between Art and Science in Medicine
257
MEDICAL CONSTRUCTION OF LIFE CYCLE PROCESSES
297
The Social Creation of a Routine Treatment
465
Ritual Superstition Magical Thinking and Other Pragmatic Responses to Running a CT Scanner
497
LIST OF CONTRIBUTORS
541
AUTHOR INDEX
544
SUBJECT INDEX
553
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About the author (1988)

Deborah Gordon is associate professor of biology at Stanford University.

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