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Medicine as Culture


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Table of Contents

Introduction 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 Conclusion

About the Author

Deborah Lupton is SHARP professor in the Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences, UNSW Sydney, working in the Center for Social Research in Health and the Social Policy Research Center and leading the Vitalities Lab. She is the author/co-author of 17 books, the latest of which are Digital Sociology (Routledge, 2015), The Quantified Self (Polity, 2016), Digital Health (Routledge, 2017), Fat, 2nd edition (Routledge, 2018), and Data Selves (Polity, 2019). She is a fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia and holds an honorary doctor of social science degree awarded by the University of Copenhagen.


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 field
Alan 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 researcher
Trudy Rudge
Professor of Nursing, University of Sydney

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