Social and Cultural Perspectives on Health, Technology and Medicine: Old Concepts, New Problems

Kirsten Bell, Ciara Kierans, Carol Kingdon

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


Developments in health, science and technology have long provided fertile analytical ground for social science disciplines. This book focuses on the critical and enduring importance of core concepts in anthropology and sociology for interrogating and keeping pace with developments in the life sciences. The authors consider how transformations in medical and scientific knowledge serve to reanimate older controversies, giving new life to debates about relations between society, culture, knowledge and individuals. They reflect on the particular legacies and ongoing relevance of concepts such as ‘culture’, ‘society’, ‘magic’, ‘production’, ‘kinship’, ‘exchange’ and ‘the body’. The chapters draw on the work of key historical and contemporary figures across the social sciences and include a range of illustrative case studies to explore topics such as transplant medicine, genetic counselling, cancer therapy, reproductive health and addiction. Of particular interest to students and scholars of anthropology, sociology, and science and technology studies, this volume will also be a valuable resource for those working in the fields of health and medicine.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages166
ISBN (Print)978-1-138-94110-6
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • anthropology of medicine
  • science and technology studies
  • medical sociology

Cite this