This volume brings together key readings of significant moments in the understanding of health. It goes beyond the often superficial literature-review style of medical sociology texts. In doing so, this book presents a challenging array of classic and new material on the social basis of health, illness and healing. The reader incorporates many of the elements of the 'new' medical anthropology and sociology of health and illness. Each section of this book is introduced with an essay by the editor, providing a fresh perspective on topical issues setting out the core concerns of the authors whose work follows. In addition, the reader is supported by an extensive guide to further reading. It provides students with an introduction to the field and a critical insight into current debates.
Colin Samson is Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Essex where he has taught medical sociology, social policy, cultural studies and American studies since 1990. He has also been a Visiting Professor at the University of California at Berkeley and a Visiting Scholar at the Institute for the Study of Social Change at the University of California at Berkeley. He is the co-editor of The Social Construction of Social Policy (with Nigel South, 1996). He is currently working on a series of studies on the health and human rights of Aboriginal peoples in Canada.