From a punishment for the immoral acts of others, venereal disease has become a malady that may confront any one of us. This book examines the different stages in this long development and reveals the strange disjunction between waves of public anxiety and the factual incidence of disease, in this troubled overlap between medical science and social life. It describes the various efforts that have been made since 1850 to contain the hazard of sexually transmitted diseases and places the changing views on venereal infection in their historical and social context. The comparisons drawn between the late 19th-century battle against syphilis and present-day responses to the AIDS epidemic underscore the notable changes that have taken place not only in thinking about sexuality, but also in the authority of the medical profession and in the position of patients vis-à-vis policy-makers and all those involved in determining modes of treatment and prevention.
Little attention has been paid to the history of the influence of the social sciences upon medical thinking and practice in the twentieth century. The essays in this volume explore the consequences of the interaction between medicine and social science by evaluating its significance for the moral and aterial role of medicine in modern societies. Some of the essays examine the ideas of both clinicians and social scientists who believed that highly technologized medicine could be made more humanistic by understanding the social relations of health and illness. Other authors interrogate the critical assault which social science has made upon medicine as a system of knowledge, organisation and power. The volume discusses, therefore, the relationship between social-scientific knowledge both
of medicine in the twentieth century. Collectively the essays illustrate that the respective power of biology and culture in determining human behaviour and social transition continues to be an unresolved paradox.
For centuries London has been at the centre of the social and economic fabric of British life, and its empire. London has not only been renowned for its pivotal role in the world of finance and politics, but also for its acute problems of overcrowding and social and economic dislocation. Starting in 1902 and ending just before the outbreak of the Second World War, Metropolitan Maternity highlights the distinct role London played in these years within the debates and policies concerning the economic and military future and physical welfare of the nation. Focusing on the expansion of maternal and child health and welfare services in the early twentieth century, this book shows that London mothers and children tended to be better served than those in provincial cities or rural areas. Yet even in London some areas were better served than others. A central theme of the book is the complexity of socio-economic and political forces that determined the differing levels of provision and health standards within the city. The book also examines the increasing emphasis placed on state sponsorship of health services in the early twentieth century and the growing willingness to involve and listen to mothers and their needs in the planning and development of services.