The Social Construction of Disease: From Scrapie to Prion, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Social Construction of Disease

From Scrapie to Prion, 1st Edition

By Kiheung Kim


272 pages | 17 B/W Illus.

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A historical exploration of scientific disputes on the causation of so-called ‘prion diseases’, this fascinating book covers diseases including Scrapie, Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) and Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE).

Firstly tracing the twentieth-century history of disease research and biomedicine, the text then focuses on the relations between scientific practice and wider social transformations, before finally building upon the sociologically informed methodological framework.

Incisive and thought-provoking, The Social Construction of Disease provides a valuable contribution to that well-established tradition of social history of science, which refers primarily to the theoretical works of the sociology of scientific knowledge.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. Scrapie in Britain, 1730-1960: A Brief Overview 3. Genetic Research in Edinburgh, 1964-1979 4. Radiobiological Research at Compton, 1964-1978 5. How Controversy Ends: Disputes on the Nature of Scrapie, 1967-1980 6. American Research Trends: Unconventional Slow Viruses, 1957-1980 7. Formulating Prion Hypothesis: Stanley Prusiner’s Work, 1972-1982 8. Prion Controversy, 1982-1997 9. Molecularization of Prion Disease 10. Conclusion

About the Series

Routledge Studies in the History of Science, Technology and Medicine

Studies in the History of Science Technology and Medicine aims to stimulate research in the field, concentrating on the twentieth century. It seeks to contribute to our understanding of science, technology and medicine as they are embedded in society, exploring the links between the subjects on the one hand, and the cultural, economic, political and institutional contexts of their genesis and development on the other. Within this framework, and while not favouring any particular methodological approach, the series welcomes studies which examine relations between science, technology, medicine and society in new ways, e.g. the social construction of technologies, large technical systems.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MEDICAL / Diseases
MEDICAL / History
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General