Health and Illness
March 2005, Polity
Michael Bury provides a lively introduction to the sociology of
health and illness for students approaching the topic for the first
time. Drawing on classic writings and up-to-date research, he
discusses the conceptualization and patterning of health and
illness in contemporary society. He highlights a range of factors,
such as gender, age, ethnicity and class, which influence the
occurrence and distribution of illness over time. The book then
focuses on debates about the body, the role of health services and
the politics of health policy. In conclusion, Bury argues that we
must take a dynamic view of health and illness as processes that
are shaped by social circumstances and altering perceptions.
This short introduction will be essential reading for all students studying the sociology of health as part of their degree programme.
2 The Patterning of Health and Illness.
3 Gender, Sex and Health.
4 The Body, Health and Society.
5 Health and Health Care.
6 The Future of Health.
- A lively, well-written introduction to the sociology of health
- Draws on classic literature and up to date research on social
aspects of health and illness, including factors such as social
class, ethnicity, age and gender
- Provides the reader with an accessible analysis of complex
topics such as the medical model, the body and health, and health
- Draws on both UK and US material throughout
Gary Albrecht, University of Illinois of
"Written in an engaging and accessible style, Health and
Illness is outstanding, carefully addressing key classic and
contemporary debates within the sociology of health and illness,
and illustrating these with the most up-to-date research."
Sara Arber, University of Surrey
"Michael Bury is one of the most thoughtful observers in medical
sociology. He provides an engaging and critical introduction to the
concepts and issues surrounding the sociology of health and
illness. Both neophytes and seasoned students will benefit greatly
from the rich discussions presented here."Peter Conrad,
"Health and Illness is a stimulating introduction to the
field. It covers the topics that matter most today and raises
important questions about how we will view health and illness in
the future in response to advances in technology and the growing
medical surveillance of the individual."
Ellen Annandale, University of Leicester