By F. Collyer
This publication reports the sociology of health and wellbeing and drugs throughout 3 various international locations, america, united kingdom and Australia, studying the character of disciplines and their specialties and posing sociological questions on the formation of highbrow fields and their social kin.
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Additional resources for Mapping the Sociology of Health and Medicine: America, Britain and Australia Compared
Historically, proponents of Wissenssoziologie, and subsequently the sociology of knowledge, have not entirely succeeded in stipulating speciﬁc social theories nor epistemologies for the programme, and the ﬁeld has remained relatively eclectic. This offers contemporary sociologists of knowledge the freedom to adopt theoretical tools according to the nature of their research questions or, as Gouldner (1970:28–9) might suggest, their background assumptions. In this case, our questions concern the nature of disciplines, the social action of disciplinary actors, and the importance of professions and institutions in the history of the sociology of health and medicine.
The concept of boundaries is used in the Theoretical Frameworks and Beginnings 43 current volume to examine the discipline as a site of social action. In the second chapter it is employed to assist with understanding the institutional formation of the sociology of health and medicine, and in the third chapter, to scrutinise the relationship between the discipline and its speciality ﬁeld. Disciplines as social structures Disciplines have a structural presence. Sociologists and other intellectuals don’t have to entirely re-fashion the boundaries or contours of their intellectual ﬁeld each time they write or speak, but are able to rely on a relatively stable set of meanings, opportunities, restrictions and organisational arrangements to predict the probability of a given outcome from their actions.
Unlike intellectual histories, institutional histories can demonstrate actual contact or inﬂuence between speciﬁc social actors 28 Mapping the Sociology of Health and Medicine (or generations of actors). In this sense they fulﬁl one of the principles of historicism. They can also contextualise the divergent voices and perspectives of the past, and so provide the reader with a greater sense of historical change, as well as of intellectual accumulation and its opposite: the systematic silencing of persons or perspectives.
Mapping the Sociology of Health and Medicine: America, Britain and Australia Compared by F. Collyer