Medical Talk and Medical Work

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The development of a sociology of medical knowledge is both assessed and contributed to in Medical Talk and Medical Work. Underlying the analysis is research on the work of haematologists, which offers a rich resource for understanding the complexities and contradictions between physical bodies and social embodiment, medical talk and technical apparatus. Using but moving beyond this specific material, Paul Atkinson demonstrates the strengths and weaknesses of the existing understanding of medical knowledge. Among the issues explored are: the place of interaction among doctors, rather than between doctors and patients, in defining the construction of medical knowledge; the ways in which clinical opinion is socially produced and the nature of the local settings through which this process occurs; and the relations among medical knowledge, medical language and the increasingly technological contexts of contemporary medical practice.