Below is a selection of recently published books which the Editorial Team at MSo think are of interest to the MedSoc community.

We would welcome formal reviews of any of these publications or alternatively you may add a brief comment here, below the details.

Active Ageing: Voluntary Work by Older People in Europe by Andrea Principi, Per H. Jensen and Giovanni Lamura

‘Active ageing’ has become a key phrase in discourses about challenges and remedies for demographic ageing and the enrolment of older adults into voluntary work is an important dimension of it. The pattern and factors conditioning volunteering among older people has so far been an under-researched topic in Europe and this is the first book to study volunteering among older people comparatively
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Pharmaceutical Research, Democracy and Conspiracy by Edison Bicudo

Studies of phenomena such as clinical trials usually focus on either the mechanisms involved in conducting or regulating operations at the global level, or ethical issues concerning the exploitation of individuals at the local level. In Pharmaceutical Research, Democracy and Conspiracy, Edison Bicudo examines the connections between global and local scales, exploring how it’s possible for social
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The Protection of Children, Second Edition, with 2014 Preface - Robert Dingwall

This book has not been easily available in print for many years, but it has long been regarded as an important contribution to the study of child abuse and neglect, and legal and social responses to it.
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The Social Organisation of Health Visitor Training - Robert Dingwall

A book that was hard to find but much cited and well reviewed finds a new home at Quid Pro Books, in multiple digital formats, as a Digitally Remastered Book.™ Its digital edition features new material, too.

Robert Dingwall’s classic and original study of the training of health visitors (public health nurses) in the UK is now available in a convenient ebook edition, featuring linked chapter endnotes, all tables from the print edition, linked and detailed subject Index, and active Contents. The new digital edition adds a substantive, explanatory 2014 Preface by the author.
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‘Social class in later life: Power, identity and lifestyle’ Edited by Marvin Formosa and Paul Higgs

"An exciting collection, which successfully sets out to re-invigorate the consideration of class in gerontology. The editors have done a fantastic job of bringing the diverse positions adopted by the contributors into dialogue with each other." Professor James Nazroo, Sociology and CCSR, University of ManchesterAttention to social class is a major issue confronting the study of ageing in the 21st century,
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Living with HIV and Dying with AIDS: Diversity, Inequality and Human Rights in the Global Pandemic - Lesley Doyal with Len Doyal


As you will be aware there is now a vast literature on HIV and AIDS but much of it is based on traditional biomedical or epidemiological approaches. Hence it tells us very little about the experiences of the millions of people whose living and dying constitute the reality of this devastating pandemic. Living with HIV and Dying with AIDS: diversity, inequality and human rights brings together findings from a wide range of studies spanning the social sciences to explore experiences of HIV positive people across the world.
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War and Embodied Memory: Becoming Disabled in Sierra Leone - Maria Berghs

How do you become an 'amputee', 'war-wounded', 'victim' or 'disabled' person? This book describes how an amputee and war-wounded community was created after a decade long conflict (1991-2002) in Sierra Leone. Beginning with a general socio-cultural and historical analysis of what is understood by impairment and disability, it also explains how disability was politically created both during the conflict and post-conflict, as violence became part of the everyday. Despite participating in the neoliberal rebuilding of the nation state, ex-combatants and the security of the nation were the government’s main priorities, not amputee and war-wounded people.

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The Ashgate Research Companion to the Globalization of Health - Edited by Ted Schrecker

Global health has emerged as a distinct field of academic research and professional activity. Over the last decade, health has become an important element of many nations' foreign policies, a routine agenda item for the G8 and a rapidly expanding focus of bilateral and multilateral development assistance. Some aspects of health, like the spread of easily transmitted communicable diseases, are self-evidently global in an age of rapid, low-cost air travel. Many more reflect the influence of transnational economic integration ('globalization') and its effects on national economies, societies and health systems. In still other cases, like non-communicable diseases in most low- and middle-income countries, the lack of impact on the interests of more powerful actors outside the borders of the affected areas makes it difficult to generate the concern and action on the part of the global community that may be imperative for ethical reasons.

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Authors of Our Own Misfortune? The Problems with Psychogenic Explanations for Physical Illnesses - Angela Kennedy


Since the advent of 'medicine' as a discrete practice, beliefs that bodily illness can somehow be caused by psychological, emotional, and behavioural ‘disorder’ have been claimed by many in the discipline. Such beliefs became less creditable as scientific methods of detecting disease developed, with discoveries such as the physiological and anatomical abnormalities in Parkinson’s disease and Multiple Sclerosis, for example, and the organisms causing syphilis and duodenal ulcers. Nevertheless, psychogenic explanations for illnesses still appear frequently within medical and academic literature, in 'common sense' public discourses, and in medical diagnoses of patients. But how plausible are these explanations?
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Health Workforce Governance - Edited by Stephanie D. Short, Fiona McDonald

With increasing recognition of the international market in health professionals and the impact of globalism on regulation, the governance of the health workforce is moving towards greater public engagement and increased transparency. This book discusses the challenges posed by these processes such as improved access to health services and how structures can be reformed so that good practice is upheld and quality of service and patient safety are ensured.
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Involving Children and Young People in Health and Social Care Research - Edited by Jennie Fleming, Thilo Boeck

Led by both children’s rights perspectives and methodological arguments, there is an increasing emphasis on children and young people’s participation in health and social care research by researchers, policy makers and funding bodies – with many now considering the active involvement of children and young people a requirement. There is little exploration of how to address and overcome the many challenges arising from their participation, however.
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Improving Organizational Interventions For Stress and Well-Being - Edited by Caroline Biron, Maria Karanika-Murray, Cary Cooper

This book brings together a number of experts in the field of organizational interventions for stress and well-being, and discusses the importance of process and context issues to the success or failure of such interventions. The book explores how context and process can be incorporated into program evaluation, providing examples of how this can be done, and offers insights that aim to improve working life.
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Population Mental Health - Edited by Neal Cohen, Sandro Galea

Over the last century public health efforts, such as immunization, safer food practices, public health education and promotion, improved sanitation, and water purification have been very successful in eradicating and controlling a host of diseases. The result has been a dramatic improvement in health and life expectancy. However, the impact that mental illnesses have on individuals and society as a
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Children’s Food Practices in Families and Institutions - Edited by Samantha Punch, Ian McIntosh, Ruth Emond

This book brings together recent UK studies into children’s experiences and practices around food in a range of contexts, linking these to current policy and practice perspectives. It reveals that food works not only on a material level as sustenance but also on a symbolic level as something that can stand for thoughts, feelings, and relationships. The three broad contexts of schools, families and care (residential homes and foster care) are explored to show the ways in which both children and adults use food. Food is used as a means by which adults care for children and is also something through which adults manage their own feelings and relationships to each other which in turn impact on children’s experiences.
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Gender and Genetics - Sociology of the Prenatal - Kate Reed

Prenatal screening for genetic disorders is becoming an increasingly widespread phenomenon across the globe. While studies have highlighted the importance of women’s experiences of such screening, little is known about men’s roles and direct involvement in this process. With a focus on the experiences of both women and men, this text offers an innovative and passionate account of the gendered nature of prenatal screening.
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Health and care in ageing societies - A new international approach - Liz Lloyd

In the context of global ageing societies, there are few challenges to the underlying assumption that policies should promote functional health and independence in older people and contain the costs of care. This important book offers such a challenge.
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Supporting people with alcohol and drug problems - Making a difference - Sarah Galvani

Social workers and other social care professionals regularly face the challenges of working with people with alcohol and other drug problems. Yet many receive little, if any, training for working with these issues. As substance use and its social impact on communities and families rises up the political agenda, this book offers a timely support for social workers and other social care staff working in this area.
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Technologies of Sexuality, Identity and Sexual Health - Edited by Lenore Manderson

Technologies of Sexuality, Identity and Sexual Health highlights the complex ways in which sexuality is expressed and enacted through local ideologies, global identities and material cultures, and their influence on people’s sexual health and well-being. Its impetus is the renewed interest in technology and the ‘social life of things,’ including pharmaceuticals, expanded sexual and related surgery, the growing exploitation of markets for sexual and contraceptive products, and the impact of these on sexual and health practices and outcomes.
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The Institutionalization of Social Welfare - A Study of Medicalizing Management - Mikael Holmqvist

Today most countries rely on formally organized welfare programs - in some cases to the extent that they are labeled "welfare states". These programs, which have been constructed over the last decades, make up a larger national and international system of good intentions. Overall, it appears inconceivable to imagine "civilized society" without a comprehensive organizational system of social welfare.
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Biopolitics and the 'Obesity Epidemic' - Edited by Jan Wright, Valerie Harwood

Biopolitics and the ‘Obesity Epidemic’ is the first edited collection of critical perspectives on the 'obesity epidemic.' The volume provides a comprehensive discussion of current issues in the critical analysis of health, obesity and society, and the impact of obesity discourses on different individuals, social groups and institutions. Contributors from the UK, Canada, New Zealand and Australia provide original, accessible, and engaging chapters on issues such as the effects on individuals, families, youths and schools. The timely contributions offered by Biopolitics and the ‘Obesity Epidemic’ to this highly topical area will be of interest to a wide range of readers, including teachers, education professionals, community health and allied professionals, and academics in areas such as education, health, youth studies, social work and psychology.
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Ultra-Low Fertility in Pacific Asia - Edited by Paulin Straughan, Angelique Chan, Gavin Jones

Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea and Hong Kong SAR are among the very lowest-fertility countries in the whole world, and even China has reached fertility levels lower than those in many European countries. If these levels continue over long periods East Asia will soon face accelerating population decline in addition the changes in age distributions in such populations raise major new questions for planning of economic and social welfare.
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The International Legal Governance of the Human Genome - Chamundeeswari Kuppuswamy

The human genome is a well known symbol of scientific and technological progress in the 21st century. However, concerns about the exacerbation of inequalities between the rich and the poor, the developing and the developed states, the healthy and the unhealthy are causing problems for the progress of scientific research. The international community is moving towards a human rights approach in addressing these concerns.
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Contemporary Health Studies, An Introduction - Louise Warwick-Booth, Ruth Cross & Diane Lowcock

Contemporary Health Studies: An Introduction provides a lively and accessible introduction to the current issues and key debates in this area. It contains a strong, up-to-date, global, social-scientific focus examining the human experience of health particularly emphasising its social, political and environmental dimensions.
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Regenerating Bodies - Tissue & Cell Therapies in the 21st Century - Julie Kent

This exciting book examines how human tissues and cells are being exchanged, commodified and commercialised by new health technologies. Through a discussion of emergent global ‘tissue economies’ the author explores the social dynamics of innovation in the fields of tissue engineering and stem cell science. The book explores how regenerative medicine configures and conceptualises bodies and argues that the development of regenerative medicine is a feminist issue.
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Health Equity, Social Justice and Human Rights - Ann Taket

Important links between health and human rights are increasingly recognised and human rights can be viewed as one of the social determinants of health. Furthermore, a human rights framework provides an excellent foundation for advocacy on health inequalities, a value-based alternative to views of health as a commodity, and the opportunity to move away from public health action being based on charity.
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Ecological Public Health - Geof Rayner, Tim Lang

What is public health? To some, it is about drains, water, food and housing, all requiring engineering and expert management. To others, it is the State using medicine or health education and tackling unhealthy lifestyles.
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Contemporary Theorists for Medical Sociology - Edited by Graham Scambler

Contemporary Theorists for Medical Sociology explores the work of key social theorists and the application of their ideas to issues around health and illness.
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Understanding the Sociology of Health, An Introduction, 3rd Edition - Anne-Marie Barry , Chris Yuill

Understanding the Sociology of Health, Third Edition is an accessible introduction to a subject which is often shrouded in jargon. Providing case studies and exercises to really get students thinking, this book shows how sociology provides the means to answer complex questions about health and illness, such as why health inequalities exist. The new edition includes new chapters on the history of health and healing; sexuality; sport, fitness and exercise; and death and dying.
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