Framing Disease: Studies in Cultural History / Edition 1

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Overview

"In some ways disease does not exist until we have agreed that it does, by perceiving, naming, and responding to it," writes Charles E. Rosenberg in his introduction to this stimulating set of essays. Disease is both a biological and a social phenomenon. Patient, doctor, family, and social institutions--including employers, government, and insurance companies--all find ways to frame the biological event in terms that make sense to them and serve their own ends.

Many diseases discussed here--endstage renal disease, rheumatic fever, parasitic infectious diseases, coronary thrombosis--came to be defined, redefined, and renamed over the course of several centuries. As these essays show, the concept of disease has also been used to frame culturally resonant behaviors: suicide, homosexuality, anorexia nervosa, chronic fatigue syndrome. Disease is also framed by public policy, as the cases of industrial disability and forensic psychiatry demonstrate. Medicl institutions, as managers of people with disease, come to have vested interests in diagnoses, as the histories of facilities to treat tuberculosis or epilepsy reveal. Ultimately, the existence and conquest of disease serve to frame a society's sense of its own "healthiness" and to give direction to social reforms.

The contributors include Steven J. Peitzman, Peter C. English, John Farley, Christopher Lawrence, Michael Macdonald, Bert Hansen, Joan Jacobs Brumberg, Robert A. Aronowitz, Gerald Markowitz, David Rosner, Janet A. Tighe, Barbara Bates, Ellen Dwyer, John M. Eyler, and Elizabeth Fee. Charles Rosenberg is Janice and Julian Bers Professor of the History of Science at the University of Pennsylvania. Janet Golden is an assistant professor of history at Rutgers University.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Revised versions of seven papers originally presented in 1988 at a conference on the history of disease at the College of Physicians of Philadelphia (and previously published), as well as seven solicited contribution are organized in five parts: framing disease; disease as frame; negotiating disease--the public arena; managing disease--institutions as mediators; and disease as social diagnosis. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813517575
  • Publisher: Rutgers University Press
  • Publication date: 3/1/1992
  • Series: Health and Medicine in American Society Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.79 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction Framing Disease: Illness, Society, and History
Pt. 1 Framing Disease
1 From Bright's Disease to End-Stage Renal Disease 3
2 Emergence of Rheumatic Fever in the Nineteenth Century 20
3 Parasites and the Germ Theory of Disease 33
4 "Definite and Material": Coronary Thrombosis and Cardiologists in the 1920s 50
Pt. 2 Disease as Frame
5 The Medicalization of Suicide in England: Laymen, Physicians, and Cultural Change, 1500-1870 85
6 American Physicians' "Discovery" of Homosexuals, 1880-1900: A New Diagnosis in a Changing Society 104
7 From Psychiatric Syndrome to "Communicable" Disease: The Case of Anorexia Nervosa 134
8 From Myalgic Encephalitis to Yuppie Flu: A History of Chronic Fatigue Syndromes 155
Pt. 3 Negotiating Disease: The Public Arena
9 The Illusion of Medical Certainty: Silicosis and the Politics of Industrial Disability, 1930-1960 185
10 The Legal Art of Psychiatric Diagnosis: Searching for Reliability 206
Pt. 4 Managing Disease: Institutions as Mediators
11 Quid pro Quo in Chronic Illness: Tuberculosis in Pennsylvania, 1876-1926 229
12 Stories of Epilepsy, 1880-1930 248
Pt. 5 Disease as Social Diagnosis
13 The Sick Poor and the State: Arthur Newsholme on Poverty, Disease, and Responsibility 275
14 Henry E. Sigerist: His Interpretations of the History of Disease and the Future of Medicine 297
List of Contributors 319
Index 323
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