Description - Medicine, Health and the Public Sphere in Britain, 1600-2000 by Steve Sturdy
Medicine is concerned with the most intimate aspects of private life. Yet it is also a focus for diverse forms of public organization and action. In this volume, an international team of scholars use the techniques of medical history to analyse the changing boundaries and constitution of the public sphere from early modernity to the present day. Following the pathbreaking work of Jurgen Habermas, historians and sociologists have tended to think of the public sphere primarily as a site of discourse and opinion formation. The medical historians collected here expand this perspective to include other kind of social action, ranging from the redefinition of doctor-patient relations in the seventeenth century to the regulation of in-vitro fertilization in the 1990s. In a series of detailed historical case studies, contributors examine the role of various public institutions - both formal and informal, voluntary and statutory - in organizing and coordinating collective action on medical matters. In so doing, they challenge the determinism and fatalism of Habermas's overarching and functionalist account of the rise and fall of the public sphere.
Of essential interest to historians and sociologists of medicine, this book will also be of value to historians of modern Britain, historical sociologists, and those engaged in studying the work of Jurgen Habermas.
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(234mm x 156mm x 19mm)
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
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