The Blackwell Companion to Medical Sociology / Edition 1

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The Blackwell Companion to Medical Sociology is a comprehensive collection of twenty-six original essays by leading medical sociologists from all over the world. The articles are organized both topically and by region to provide thorough coverage of the concerns, issues, and future directions of the discipline. Editor William C. Cockerham contributes a fine introductory chapter that analyzes the field and then organizes the book in two parts. Part I covers the substantive areas of medical sociology, including essays on the sociology of the body, women's health, work stress, and the modern health care system. Part II then applies those subjects to individual countries and societies in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Africa to provide a comparative reference for the most important topics in the field. This Companion thoroughly demonstrates that every region has its own unique medical perspectives and practices. This invaluable resource is the most informed, complete, and up-to-date reference on transnational medical sociology available today.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“This volume fills a need for a textbook in medical sociology which is comprehensive, international, and up-to-date. A distinguished list of contributors covers not only theory and substantive topics but also the development of the discipline throughout the world. This will remain a definitive text for students and practitioners.”

Mildred Blaxter, University of East Anglia

“…This volume is recommended as an authoritative resource in medical sociology for upper division undergraduates through professionals.”


“This is certainly a book that should be in any reputable health studies library. Its bibliographies are an invaluable resource.”

Social Science & Medicine

“This book is an important compendium that reflects the global growth of medical sociology. As a collection by international scholars writing about medical sociology and health care in their own countries, this book is destined to become a benchmark resource.”

Peter Conrad, Brandeis University

"This text is a useful and valuable resource for students and researchers working in the field of medical sociology." Sociology

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Product Details

Meet the Author

William C. Cockerham is Professor and Chair of the Sociology Department at the University of Alabama, with dual appointments in the School of Medicine and the School of Public Health. He is the author of The Global Society (1994), The Aging Society (1996), Health and Social Change in Russia and Eastern Europe (1999), Sociology of Mental Disorder (fifth edition, 1999), and Medical Sociology (eighth edition, 2001), and co-editor of Dictionary of Medical Sociology (1997) and Readings in Medical Sociology (second edition, 2001).

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Table of Contents

List of Contributors
1 Medical Sociology and Sociological Theory 3
2 Health and Culture 23
3 The Sociology of the Body 43
4 Health and Social Stratification 64
5 From Women's Health to a Gender Analysis of Health 94
6 Work Stress and Health 114
7 Migration, Health, and Stress 126
8 Health Professions and Occupations 144
9 The Convergence and Divergence of Modern Health Care Systems 159
10 The American Health Care System: Entering the Twenty-first Century with High Risk, Major Challenges, and Great Opportunities 180
11 The Evolution of Health Care in Canada: Toward Community or Corporate Control? 199
12 Medical Sociology in Mexico 214
13 Social Science and Health in Brazil 233
14 Medical Sociology in Great Britain 246
15 The French Paradoxes 263
16 Medical Sociology in Germany 287
17 Society, Health, and Health Care in Sweden 298
18 The Russian Health Care Experiment: Transition of the Health Care System and Rethinking the Sociology of Medicine 320
19 In and Out of Communism: The Macrosocial Context of Health in Poland 334
20 Transformation of the Health Care System in the Czech Republic - A Sociological Perspective 347
21 Health and Health Care in South Africa Against an African Background 365
22 Health, Health Care, and Medical Education in the Arab World 393
23 Health and Health Care in Israel 410
24 Medicine and Health Care in Australia 429
25 Health, Illness, and Health Policy in Japan 441
26 The Great Reversal: Transformation of Health Care in the People's Republic of China 456
Index 483
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