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The Age of Stress: Science and the Search for Stability (Hardback)
  • The Age of Stress: Science and the Search for Stability (Hardback)
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The Age of Stress: Science and the Search for Stability (Hardback)

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£76.00
Hardback 326 Pages / Published: 28/03/2013
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We are living in a stressful world. Despite our familiarity with the notion, stress remains an elusive concept. In The Age of Stress, Mark Jackson explores the history of scientific studies of stress in the modern world. In particular, he reveals how the science that legitimates and fuels current anxieties about stress has been shaped by a wide range of socio-political and cultural, as well as biological, factors: stress, he argues, is both a condition and a metaphor. This approach is not designed or intended to deny the reality of stress in people's lives, or to undermine the validity of scientific investigations. Rather, Jackson suggests that if we are to comprehend the ubiquity and impact of stress in our own times, or to explain how stress has commandeered such a central place in the modern imagination, we need to understand not only the evolution of the medical science and technology that has gradually uncovered the biological pathways between stress and disease in recent decades, but also the shifting political and cultural contexts that have invested that scientific knowledge with meaning and authority. In particular, he argues that we need to acknowledge the manner in which our obsessions with the relationship between stress and disease are the product of broader historical concerns about the preservation of personal and political, as well as physiological, stability.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199588626
Number of pages: 326
Weight: 648 g
Dimensions: 241 x 162 x 23 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
no-one tells the scientific story of stress better than Mark Jackson, one of the most influential historians of medicine in Anglo-American worlds ... Jackson shows that "stress" was a complex, flexible concept, which could be profoundly helpful in imposing some kind of stability and meaningfulness in an often chaotic world. As in Auden's dramatic poem, 'The Age of Anxiety', stress was a most useful analogy for the 20th century. Jackson's book promises to become a classic for anyone curious about how the language of stress became the lingua franca of our times * Dr Joanna Bourke, Reviews in History *
Mark Jackson's Age of Stress is an exemplary contribution to the historiography of modern psychology, psychiatry, disease and illness. International in scope, Jackson's study skilfully illuminates the development and evolution of a key medical concept that has increasingly defined and structured various aspects of modern human existence. Further to being a significant addition to the history of twentieth-century medicine, The Age of Stress will prove invaluable to social and economic historians of the modern period * Ian Miller, The British Journal for the History of Science *
Jackson argues that stress is the emblematic medical but also cultural condition, not just of our own age, but of modern times. In doing so, he juxtaposes a carefully told story of how medical science developed a theory of stress to make sense of keeping bodies and minds in healthy balance, with a story of how stress as a metaphor came to be deployed in popular culture and in thinking about political stability, economic security, and even the harmony of the cosmos ... The Age of Stress may invite not just a series of more detailed case studies but also a study of even greater ambition. This is a mark of its considerable achievement. * Mathew Thomson, Social History of Medicine *
This is a thoroughly-researched book and a lively story ... the ubiquity of stress in the twenty-first century makes this both an important scholarly work as well as a pleasure to read * Year's Work in Critical and Cultural Theory *

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