Medicine, now virtually a discipline
WITHEY 9780719085468 PRINT.indd 1
Physick and the family
of its own, has provided much of the impetus for this change. Old Whig notions
of ‘Great Men’ doctors, miraculous discoveries and linear teleological progress
have been largely abandoned in favour of more nuanced explorations of the
many side alleys and dead ends of medical history; of the continuities as well
as the changes.4 The influence of social-constructionism, to give one example,
can be seen in the increasingly firm location of medical history
retrospectively, so I have recognised, as far as possible, the pitfalls of making too many assumptions about what sports medicine ‘should’ look like in the past.
This is therefore a book in broad sympathy with other accounts of the socialconstruction of disease and health. 4 As the section below will show, when interrogated, sports medicine is revealed as a complex, contingent and heterogeneous set of practices, beliefs and practitioners. Its appearance in the twenty-first century as a coherent object is the consequence of a set of interlaced scientific and social
The working lives of paid carers from 1800 to the 1990s
Anne Borsay and Pamela Dale
approaches’, in A. Borsay and B. Hunter
(eds), Nursing and Midwifery in Britain since 1700 (Basingstoke: Palgrave
Macmillan, 2012), pp. 1–20 (pp. 8–9).
23 A. Kelly and A. Symonds, The SocialConstruction of Community Nursing
(Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003), pp. 135, 179.
24 D. Mitchell and J. Welshman, ‘In the shadow of the Poor Law: workforce issues’, in J. Welshman and J. Walmsley (eds), Community Care in
Perspective: Care, Control and Citizenship (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan,
2006), pp. 187–200.
25 Nolan, ‘History of mental health nursing and psychiatry
assumptions that underlie them (Lupton, 1995). Poststructural critiques, on
the other hand, drawing on Foucault’s concept of power/knowledge, have
highlighted the socialconstruction of knowledge and the social processes
involved in the production of medical knowledge. Through texts such as
The Birth of the Clinic (1973) and Madness and Civilisation (1967), Foucault was concerned to show how biomedicine as an expert system had a
strongly normalising imperative, and was intimately tied up in the creation
of medical categories separating the ‘sick’ from the ‘well’, or ‘normal
From the healthy individual to a healthy population
Maria Pia Donato
Sylva, Romanorum lachrymae, p. 25.
35 Bernabei, Dissertazione, pp. 42, 45.
36 Mistichelli, Trattato dell’apoplessia, pp. 159, 162–3.
37 Bernabei, Dissertazione, p. 45.
38 Lancisi, De subitaneis mortibus, p. 79.
39 P. Dionis, Dissertation sur la mort subite et sur la catalepsie (Paris: d’Houry,
1710); Ramazzini, De principum valetudine, p. 69.
4 0 R. Jütte, ‘The socialconstruction of illness in the Early Modern period’,
in J. Lachmund and G. Stollberg (eds), The SocialConstruction of Illness
(Stuttgart: Steiner, 1992) pp. 23–38; M. Stolberg, Experiencing
Robert W. Harms, The Diligent: A Voyage through the Worlds of the
Slave Trade (New York: Basic Books, 2002 ) ; Emma Christopher,
Slave Ship Sailors and their Captive Cargoes (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,
2006); Christopher et al., Many Middle Passages , p. 2.
Philip E. Steinberg, The SocialConstruction of the Ocean
(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001), p. 105.
For one historian who does emphasise materiality see Richard Drayton
Governmentality, health policy and the place of critical politics
Eluska Fernández and Claire Edwards
, 8(2): 43–64.
Lippert, R. and Stenson, K. (2010) Advancing governmentality studies: lessons from
socialconstructionism. Theoretical Criminology, 14(4): 473–494.
McKee, K. (2009) Post-Foucauldian governmentality: what does it offer critical
social policy analysis? Critical Social Policy, 29(3): 465–486.
O’Malley, P. (1996) Indigenous governance. Economy and Society, 25(3): 310–326.
O’Malley, P., Weir, L. and Shearing, C. (1997) Governmentality, criticism, politics.
Economy and Society, 26(4): 501–517.
Osborne, T. (1997) Of health and statecraft. IN: Petersen, A
. Pinch (eds.), The SocialConstruction of Technological Systems: New Directions in the Sociology and History of Technology , Anniversary Edition (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2012 ), pp. 11–44, or of ‘platforms’ in P. Keating and A. Cambrosio, ‘Cancer clinical trials: the emergence and development of a new style of practice’, Bulletin of the History of Medicine , 81:1 (2007), 197–223, esp. pp. 198–9. Each term belongs to a specific theoretical school. My use of ‘technology’ derives from my interests as a social historian of medicine, and is to be differentiated
crisis’, in Virginia Crossman and Sean Lucey, eds,
Healthcare in Ireland and Britain 1850–1970: Voluntary, Regional and
Comparative Perspectives. (London: Institute for Historical Research,
2015), pp. 217–36.
28 Robert Aronowitz, ‘Lyme disease: the socialconstruction of a new disease and its social consequences’, Milbank Quarterly, lxix, no. 1 (1991),
, impacted on the professional
identity of nursing itself. By rising to the challenges posed by a need
to blend both the apparently mundane and highly gendered work
of caring for patients’ physical and emotional needs with the clearly
scientific and intricate work of implementing the latest technologies,
nurses influenced not only the expectations of the societies in which
they operated but their own thinking about the significance of their
1 Janet S. K. Watson, ‘Wars in the wards: The socialconstruction of medical
work in First World