Framing Disease: Studies in Cultural History / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $10.19
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 63%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (21) from $10.19   
  • New (9) from $23.89   
  • Used (12) from $10.19   


"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.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

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 (
Read More Show Less

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: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

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
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
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

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