Cancer in the Community: Class and Medical Authority [NOOK Book]


Focusing on deep conflicts between the medical establishment and the working class, Martha Balshem chronicles a health education project in “Tannerstown,” a pseudonym for a blue-collar neighborhood in northeast Philadelphia.
Read More Show Less
... See more details below
Cancer in the Community: Class and Medical Authority

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$10.49 price
(Save 38%)$16.95 List Price


Focusing on deep conflicts between the medical establishment and the working class, Martha Balshem chronicles a health education project in “Tannerstown,” a pseudonym for a blue-collar neighborhood in northeast Philadelphia.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Anthropologist Balshem worked as a health educator in a blue-collar white ethnic neighborhood in northeast Philadelphia, a cancer hot spot she calls ``Tannerstown,'' and she offers some worthwhile reflections on ``negotiating professional authority.'' While Balshem's colleagues emphasized personal health issues such as smoking and diet, Tannerstowners blamed cancer on environmental factors in their industrial neighborhood. Comparing neighborhood attitudes toward heart disease with those toward cancer, Balshem found less rational and more fatalistic attitudes toward cancer. Coupled with Tannerstowners' longtime suspicion of outsiders, this finding frustrated the educators. In one chapter, she traces the efforts of a Tannerstown widow to change medical records that indicated her husband's death from pancreatic cancer was due solely to his drinking and smoking and not to his environment. Balshem's interviews with the attending doctor clearly show how medical professionals both shy away from environmental factors and act in an authoritarian way toward their working-class patients. She argues that health educators should listen more to community critiques. Photos not seen by PW. (Sept.)
William Beatty
Anthropologist Balshem joined Project CAN-DO early in its second year. Set up to study city dwellers' current knowledge about cancer, the project also carried out a health education program in Philadelphia. Balshem worked with Tannerstown, a community in one of the city's river wards. Her book describing--with both understanding and humor--her formal and informal dealings and relationships with Tannerstowners is fascinating and thought-provoking. Showing clearly that the relationship between patients' families and physicians is a class-based phenomenon, Balshem explores community residents' feelings that health education is an outsider's attempt at control; the many stories she heard about the "defiant ancestor" who stonewalls or overcomes medical authority underline the power of this conception. So her book is not only a report of a project but also a guide and a warning to those setting up similar programs.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781588343406
  • Publisher: Smithsonian Institution Press
  • Publication date: 4/9/2013
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 192
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Martha Balshem is an anthropologist living in Portland, Oregon.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

1 Defining the Topic 1
2 The Study Community 13
3 Project CAN-DO 55
4 A Cancer Death 91
5 Meaning for the Anthropologist 125
6 Changing the Victim 141
Notes 149
References 157
Index 170
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)