<i>Medical Dominance</i>, now in a revised edition, provides a fascinating account of the medical profession's successful domination of a wide range of health care services. Evan Willis delves into the past to explain the existing division of labour and health care, the rise of the medical profession to a position of economic power within the health system, and their defence of that dominant position. Now completely revised and updated, this edition also considers the related question of the policy implications of medical dominance.<br><br>The defence by doctors of their position of power is highlighted by the author's exhaustive and original research into demarcation struggles between medicine and other health occupations, in particular midwifery, optometry and chiropractic. Conventional explanations of medical dominance are challenged by the argument that the role of developments in medical knowledge and in technology itself have been overstated. As well, greater account must be taken of the social relations and struggles which developed for control of that knowledge and technology.
Table of Contents
1 Introduction 2 Theoretical considerations 3 The rise of medicine: the pre-scientific 4 Technical and political process in the rise of scientific medicine 5 The subordination of midwifery 6 The limitation of optometry 7 The exclusion of chiropractic 8 Conclusion Postscript: the politics of medical dominance.
Evan Willis has written widely in the field of medicine, health care and society, and his study will interest not only sociologists concerned with health, illness and the labour process and practitioners in the various health professions, but it will provide a rich source of material for social historians. <i>Medical Dominance</i> was a winner of the Jean Martin Award for the Best Australasian Thesis in Social Theory and Research over a two year period.