Polity, 2010 - 183
The second edition of Mildred Blaxter's successful and highlyrespected book offers a comprehensive and engaging introduction tothe key debates surrounding the concept of health today. Itdiscusses how health is defined, constructed, experienced and actedout in contemporary developed societies, drawing on a range ofempirical data from the USA, Britain, France, and many othercountries.
The new edition has been thoroughly revised and updated, withnew material added on health and identity, the "new genetics", thesociology of the body, and the formation of health capitalthroughout the life course. The topic is the concept of health,rather than the more usual emphasis on illness and health-caresystems. Special emphasis is given to the lay perspective to showhow people themselves think about and experience health. Blaxterguides students through all the relevant conceptual models of therelationship of health to the structure of society, from inequalityin health to the ideas of the risk society, the‘socio-biological translation’ and the contribution ofhealth to social capital. The book concludes with a comprehensivelyrevised and thought-provoking discussion of the impact of newtechnology, the boundaries between life and death, moderncommodification of health, technological transformations of thebody and theories of evolutionary biology.
Health is an invaluable textbook for students of medicineand other health professions as well as those studying sociology,health sciences and health promotion.
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How is Health Constructed?
Constructivism and mental illness
How is Health Embodied and Experienced?
How is Health Enacted?
How is Health Related to Social Systems?
Contemporary Change in the Meaning of Health