This book claims to bring together two foes, once pretty implacable, into the same space of intellectual debate. It does so in order to allow a fresh look at an old controversy. The significant tensions and differences in orientation between Disability Studies and Medical Sociology were mapped out in 1996 in a book published in Leeds by the Disability Press and edited by Colin Barnes and Geoff Mercer. Exploring the divide, illness and disability, from the perspective of the Disability Studies intellectuals who contributed to it put some considerable distance between the categories of illness and disability, assigning medical sociologists to the former and proponents of the social model of disability to the latter. Medical sociologists much preferred a view in which chronic and disabling conditions could be conceptualised as a part of a continuum in which similarity rather than difference was the founding and grounding characteristic.
- book review