Medicine as Culture: Illness, Disease and the Body in Western Societies

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Sage Publications, 2003 - Social Science - 202 pages
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The Second Edition of Medicine as Culture provides a broad overview of the way medicine is experienced, perceived and socially constructed in western societies. Drawing on the tradition of the sociology of health and illness, Deborah Lupton directs readers to an understanding of medicine, health care, illness and disease from a sociocultural perspective.

At a time of increasing disillusionment with scientific medicine and the mythology of the beneficent, god-like physician, there is also - paradoxically - a growing dependence on biomedicine to provide the answers to social as well as medical problems. This book illuminates why attitudes to medicine are characterized by such strong paradoxes, and why issues of disease, illness and the medical encounter are surrounded by controversy, conflict, power struggles and emotion.

In this second edition, each chapter has been extensively updated to take account of recent research and theoretical developments. New material has been added on postmodernist theory; the male body; and the new genetics. As well as reviewing and critiquing the dominant theoretical approaches in the sociology of health and illness, Medicine as Culture, Second Edition also includes the following key topics:

socio-cultural analysis of health, illness and medicine

elite and media representations of illness

the body in medicine

the language and visual imagery of medicine, illness and disease

and feminist perspectives

Integrating cultural studies, social history and contemporary theories of the body, Medicine as Culture, Second Edition will be essential reading for students and academics in the sociology of health and illness, the sociology of consumption and everyday life, medical anthropology, the history of medicine, health communication, women's studies, nursing studies and cultural studies.

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About the author (2003)

Deborah Lupton in an independent sociologist based in Sydney. She was previously Professor of Sociology and Cultural Studies at Charles Sturt University. She has published 12 books and over 100 journal articles and book chapters on the topics of the social and cultural aspects of medicine and public health; risk; embodiment; HIV/AIDS; fear of crime; parenting cultures; infancy and childhood; the emotions; food; critical weight studies; and digital sociology. Her current research is focusing on dimensions of maternal, unborn and child embodiment, obesity as a sociocultural phenomenon, m-health and the body, and digital sociology. She is convenor of the Sydney Health & Society Group and the co-convenor of the Australian Food, Society and Culture Network. Deborah is an advocate of using social and other digital media for professional purposes. She blogs at This Sociological Life, tweets @DALupton, has a number of Pinterest boards and Storify presentations dealing with her current research interests and administers three Facebook pages: Sociology of Health, Illness and Medicine, Digital Sociology and Sociology of Parenting. She contributes pieces to The Conversation and Crikey online discussion sites and is an invited member of the Crikey Health and Medical Panel. She has also developed a free Android app called Medical Sociology which explains over 25 key concepts on that topic for students. Further details of her academic publications can be found on her webpage and her citation metrics may be viewed on her Google Scholar profile.

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