The Sociology of Health and Illness Reader brings together some of the best examples of recent sociological studies on health, illness and health care.
The volume emphasizes the empirical nature of medical sociology and its relationship with the development of sociological theory.
It thus presents an array of substantive topics viewed from a range of contemporary theoretical positions. Reflecting the key areas of medical sociology, the chapters are organized into five sections: 'Bodies', 'Health and Risk', 'Experiencing Illness', 'Social Patterning of Health and Illness' and 'Health Care Work'.
Each area is introduced by the editors, who provide an overview of the topic and highlight key developments.
Although the chapters cover a wide range of topics, they all deal with issues pertinent to health and illness in the twenty-first century, and draw upon broader sociological debates around notions of risk, reflexivity, flexibility, uncertainty and late modernity.
The book includes an extensive introduction that provides the student with an orientation to the field.