Posters, protests, and prescriptions

Cultural histories of the National Health Service in Britain

Edited by Jennifer Crane and Jane Hand

Posters, protests, and prescriptions
Hardcover -
  • Price: £30.00
  • ISBN: 9781526163462
  • Publish Date: Jun 2022
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
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    Book Information


    The National Health Service has provided Britain's healthcare since 1948. This institution has been the subject of tense political debate since its inception and has undergone a number of complex reforms and restructures. But the meanings of the NHS are not only - or even primarily - lived out in politics. Nearly every Briton comes into contact with the NHS - from cradle to grave - and this system of healthcare shapes society, culture and everyday life. This book charts these multiple meanings, looking at the NHS as a site of work, activism and consumerism, as a space and in cultural representations. Looking in these ways, the book shows how and why the NHS has become a symbol of Britishness and an object of fierce protectiveness, even love, today.


    'This is the first book to address the NHS using a cultural studies framework. It produces rich and complex evidence of change over time across popular attachments and social meanings and attitudes, while demonstrating the value of new approaches to visual and material sources.'
    Stephanie Snow, Professor of Health, History and Policy, University of Manchester


    Introduction - Jennifer Crane and Jane Hand
    Part I: Work
    1 The making of 'NHS staff' as a worker identity, 1948-85 - Jack Saunders
    2 Sick notes are a waste of time: doctors' labour and medical certification at the birth of the NHS - Gareth Millward
    Part II: Activism
    3 'Loving' the NHS: social surveys and activist feelings - Jennifer Crane
    4 The everyday work of hospital campaigns: public knowledge and activism in the UK's National Health Services - Ellen Stewart, Kathy Dodworth and Angelo Ercia
    Part III: Consumerism
    5 Consuming health? Health education and the British public in the 1980s - Alex Mold
    6 Customers who don't buy anything!: the introduction of free dispensing at Boots the Chemists - Katey Logan
    Part IV: Space
    7 The cultural significance of space and place in the NHS - Angela Whitecross
    8 'Bright-while-you-wait'? Waiting rooms and the National Health Service, c. 1948-58 - Martin D. Moore
    Part V: Representation
    9 Representation of the NHS in the arts and popular culture - Mathew Thomson
    10 'If it hadn't been for the doctor, I think I would have killed myself': ensuring adolescent knowledge and access to healthcare in the age of Gillick - Hannah Elizabeth
    Part VI: International
    11 'A spawning of the nether pit'? Welfare, warfare and American visions of Britain's National Health Service, 1948-58 - Roberta Bivins
    Epilogue: 'I'm afraid [,] there's no NHS' - Sally Sheard


    Jennifer Crane is lecturer in health geographies at the School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol and worked as a Public Engagement Research Fellow on the Cultural History of the NHS project at the University of Warwick

    Jane Hand worked as a Research Fellow on the Cultural History of the NHS project at the University of Warwick

    Posters, protests, and prescriptions

    Edited by Jennifer Crane, Jane Hand

    Hardcover £30.00 / $45.95

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