Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters NHS restructuring

Consider social anthropology

BMJ 2007; 335 doi: (Published 26 July 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;335:172

Symbols vs Substance

Society is long on symbols, but short on substance. We are awash in religious,
political, professional, and commercial symbols that promise but don’t deliver.
Why is there such a disparity between symbol and substance? Perhaps it’s
because our language is largely symbolic and subject to misunderstanding,
misrepresentation, and manipulation. So let’s try to clearly distinguish between
the symbols and substance of society by minimizing the former and
maximizing the latter.

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

21 March 2009
Hugh Mann
Eagle Rock, MO 65641 USA