Both health care practitioners and health planners are beginning to recognize the importance of differences between lay and professional concepts of health and illness. The editors of this volume, having themselves worked in this field for many years, have selected and brought together writings by distinguished scholars from Britain, France, the United States, Germany and Poland. What impresses most is the range of problems synthesized from a genuinely international and interdisciplinary perspective. No reader can fail to be fascinated by the often peculiar ways in which different societies have tried to cope with the existential questions of health and illness.
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