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It is now sociological common sense to declare that, in everyday life, large numbers of people approach matters of work, family life, trust and friendship with 'risk' constantly in mind. This book, provides an introductory overview and critical assessment of this phenomenon. Iain Wilkinson outlines contrasting sociological theories of risk, and summarizes some of the principle discoveries of empirical research conducted into the ways people perceive, experience and respond to a world of danger. He also examines some of the moral concerns and political interests that feature in this area of study. Designed to equip readers not only with the sociological means to debate the human consequences of our contemporary culture of risk, but also, with the critical resources to evaluate the significance this holds for current sociology, this book provides a perfectly pitched undergraduate introduction to the topic.
'Identity' and 'selfhood' are terms routinely used throughout the human sciences that seek to analyze and describe the character of everyday life and experience. Yet these terms are seldom defined or used with any precision, and scant regard is paid to the historical and cultural context in which they arose, or to which they are applied. This innovative book provides fresh historical insights in terms of the emergence, development, and interrelationship of specific and varied notions of identity and selfhood, and outlines a new sociological framework for analyzing it. This is the first historical/sociological framework for discussion of issues which have until now, generally been treated as 'philosophy' or 'psychology', and as such it is essential reading for those undergraduates and postgraduates of sociology, philosophy and history and cultural studies interested in the concepts of identity and self. It covers a broader range of material than is usual in this style of text, and includes a survey of relevant literature and precise analysis of key concepts written in a student-friendly style.
Why are we so insistent that women and men are different? This introduction to gender provides a fascinating, readable exploration of how society divides people into feminine women and masculine men. Gender and Everyday Life explores gender as a way of seeing women and men as not just biological organisms, but as people shaped by their everyday social world. Examining how gender has been understood and lived in the past; and how it is understood and done differently by different cultures and groups within cultures; Mary Holmes considers the strengths and limitations of different ways of thinking and learning to ‘do’ gender. Key sociological and feminist ideas about gender are covered from Christine Pisan to Mary Wollstonecraft; and from symbolic interactionism to second wave feminism through to the work of Judith Butler. Gender and Everyday Life illustrates gender with a range of familiar and contemporary examples: everything from nineteenth century fashions in China and Britain, to discussions of what Barbie can tell us about gender in America, to the lives of working women in Japan. This book will be of great use and interest to students to gender studies, sociology and feminist theory.
Mixing theories of the everyday with a wide range of case studies, this book explains the 'character' of ethnicity, from being a political tool of exclusion, to a source of meaning and solidarity, and the relationship between culture, power and identity. Combining theories of the everyday with empirical case studies, this book examines: the 'dual character' of ethnicity – as a political tool of exclusion and source of meaning/ solidarity respectively the relationship between culture, power and identity the significance of historical/socio-economic contexts to ethnicity and everyday life. This book addresses many important questions through a critical application of theories of the everyday to a series of case studies that include travellers, the South Asian diaspora, contemporary Austria, and asylum seekers in 'Fortress Europe'. This book provides an accessible and coherent introduction to the sociology of ethnicity and will be essential reading for undergraduate students on cultural studies, race and ethnic studies, and sociology courses.
The concept of risk is one of the most suggestive terms for evoking the cultural character of our times and for defining the purpose of social research. Risk attitudes and behaviours are understood to comprise the dominant experience of culture, politics and society in our times. Health, Risk and Vulnerability investigates the personal and political dimensions of health risk that structure everyday thought and action. In this innovative book, international contributors reflect upon the meaning and significance of risk across a broad range of social and institutional contexts, exploring current issues such as: the ‘escalation of the medicalization of life’, involving the pathologization of normality and blurring of the divide between clinical and preventive medicine the tendency for mental health service users to be regarded as representing a risk to others rather than being ‘at risk’ and vulnerable themselves the development of health care systems to identify risk and prevent harm women’s reactions to ‘high risk’ screening results during pregnancy and how they communicate with other women about risk men and the use the internet to reconstruct their social and sexual identities Charting new terrain in the sociology of health and risk, and focusing on the connections between them, Health, Risk and Vulnerability offers new perspectives on an important field of contemporary debate and provides an invaluable resource for students, teachers, researchers, and policy makers.
`A Sociology of Health charts a way forward for a medical sociology that can make a positive contribution to medical practice and health policy' - Dr Michael Fitzpatrick, East London GP and author of The Tyranny of Health `This is a very lively book that will stimulate good debate amongst students undertaking sociology of health courses in higher education' - Mathew Jones, Senior Lecturer in Health and Social Policy, University of the West of England A Sociology of Health offers an authoritative and up-to-date introduction to the key issues, perspectives and debates within the field of medical sociology. The book will aid readers' understanding of how sociological approaches are crucial to understanding the impact that health and illness have on the behaviour, attitudes, beliefs, and practices, of an increasingly health-aware population. The book is topical and unique in its approach, combining commentary and analysis of classic debates in medical sociology with contemporary issues in health care policy and practice. The content is wide-ranging, including chapters on: health scares, therapy culture, new dimensions of international health, changes in health care organisation and the feminization of health. Features such as case studies, questions for debate, and further reading sections are used throughout to promote critical reflection and further debate. A Sociology of Health offers readers a fresh approach to the subject, and will be essential reading for all undergraduate students on medical sociology and sociology of health and illness courses, as well as postgraduate students in related health and social care disciplines. David Wainwright is a Senior Lecturer in the School for Health, University of Bath.
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