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Medicine as Culture: Illness, Disease and the Body 3ed

by Deborah Lupton SAGE Publications Ltd
Pub Date:
Pbk 208 pages
AU$72.00 NZ$73.04
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Medicine as Culture is unlike any other sociological text on health and medicine. For many lecturers and students the book has become a classic text, which combines perspectives drawn from a wide variety of disciplines including sociology, anthropology, social history, cultural geography and media and cultural studies. The aim of the book is to explore the ways in which medicine and health care are sociocultural constructions, ranging from popular media and elite cultural representations of illness, disease and health care workers to the power dynamics of the doctor-patient relationship.

For its 3rd edition and with the addition of over 100 new references, Medicine as Culture has been updated to cover new and emerging areas of interest, including :

• Studies of space and place in relation to medicine and the body;
• Actor-network theory as it is applied in research related to medicine;
• The role of computerized communication technologies, including Web 2.0 applications and social media, in providing access to medical information, health advocacy and support for patients;
• New medical technologies and how they contribute to people’s understandings of their bodies and selfhood;
• Complementary and alternative medicine;
• Men’s health and embodiment;
• The abject body in relation to illness and disease; and
• Obesity and fat politics.

Contextualising introductions and discussion points in every chapter make Medicine as Culture, 3rd edition a rigorous yet accessible text for students studying sociocultural perspectives on health and medicine.

Theoretical Perspectives on Medicine and Society
The Body in Medicine
Representations of Medicine, Illness and the Body
The Lay Perspective on Illness and Disease
Power Relations and the Medical Encounter
Feminisms and Medicine

Medicine as Culture introduces students to a broad range of cross-disciplinary theoretical perspectives, using examples that emphasize bodies and visual images. Lupton's core contrast between lay perspectives on illness and medical power is a useful beginning point for courses teaching health and illness from a socio-cultural perspective

Arthur Frank
Department of Sociology, University of Calgary

This new edition of Medicine as Culture is a welcome updating of a text that has become a mainstay of the medical sociologist's library. Providing a clear statement of the emergence and role of medicine in cultural contexts, Deborah Lupton offers excellent summaries and comparisons of the major theoretical perspectives that illuminate our understanding of illness, the body and its social care. Students and teachers will appreciate the clarity and organisation of this book, which confirm it as a leading text in its fieldAlan Radley
Emeritus Professor of Social Psychology, Loughborough University

Deborah Lupton's discourse analysis of contemporary writing on medical knowledge, exposes how medical discourses are not neutral, objective advisories on how we are to live our lives but rather culturally constitutive of our bodies and ways of thinking and talking about health and illness. In Australia today, if you turn on day-time television, you will note that a medical 'show', The Doctors has replaced Oprah as arbiter of how to live healthily, what we are to know about bodily health and which medical discoveries are to be trumpeted from news bulletins across multiple forms of media. Such media representations of authoritative, medicalised health signify that Deborah Lupton's newest edition of Medicine as Culture is more relevant than ever! Her lucid analyses of biomedicalisation furnish fresh insights and cogent critiques of the allure of, and challenges to medical power in the 21st Century - an already influential work updated and renewed - for all forms of health professional and researcherTrudy Rudge
Professor of Nursing, University of Sydney

Deborah Lupton is Honorary Associate, Department of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Sydney, Australia.