By Steve Sturdy

Medication is worried with the main intimate points of personal existence. but it's also a spotlight for various varieties of public association and motion. during this quantity, a world group of students use the options of clinical background to examine the altering obstacles and structure of the general public sphere from early modernity to the current day. In a sequence of precise ancient case reports, individuals learn the function of assorted public associations - either formal and casual, voluntary and statutory - in organizing and coordinating collective motion on scientific concerns. In so doing, they problem the determinism and fatalism of Habermas's overarching and functionalist account of the increase and fall of the general public sphere. Of crucial curiosity to historians and sociologists of medication, this publication may also be of worth to historians of contemporary Britain, old sociologists, and people engaged in learning the paintings of J?rgen Habermas.

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Page i Medicine, Health and the Public Sphere in Britain, 1600–2000 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 Jürgen Habermas, historians and sociologists have tended to think of the public sphere primarily as a site of discourse and opinion formation.

Moreover, by the first half of the twentieth century, these exclusions and inequalities were tending to become more rather than less marked, as institutions were appropriated and privatized by particular interest groups intent on self-advancement and the pursuit of social influence. Pace Habermas’s view of the decline of the bourgeois public sphere in this period, however, it is not necessary to invoke the impact of state welfare provision on public autonomy to explain this process of privatization.

The Society for the Social History of Medicine (SSHM) was founded in 1969, and exists to promote research into all aspects of the field, without regard to limitations of either time or place. In addition to this book series, the Society also organizes a regular programme of conferences, and publishes an internationally recognized journal, Social History of Medicine. The Society offers a range of benefits, including reduced-price admission to conferences and discounts on SSHM books, to its members.

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