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Gender and the Social Construction of Illness / Edition 2

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In this volume Judith Lorber explores the interaction between gender as a social institution on one hand and Western medicine as a social institution on the other. Focusing on illnesses considered to be physical, Lorber brings a feminist viewpoint to analyze issues of power and politics, which have pervaded the study of both gender and medicine in recent times. Gender and the Social Construction of Illness is an ideal supplemental reading for a number of courses, including but by no means limited to medical sociology, medical anthropology, and the history of medicine.

"...explores the interaction between gender and western medicine, offering a feminist perspective to the issues brought into view...discussess old age, social pressures, and gender politics."

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Editorial Reviews

Reconfigures familiar concepts in medical sociology to explore how gender, race, class, ethnicity, and culture influence both the experience of symptoms of physical illnesses, and the treatment of the symptoms by the medical establishment. Also offers a gender-informed analysis of the knowledge base and underlying assumptions about illness, and the way questions are asked and research priorities are set. Paper edition (unseen), $17.95. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
From The Critics
Lorber (emerita, sociology and women's studies, City U. of New York) and Moore (sociology, City U. of New York) bring a feminist perspective to the study of medical sociology. They argue that gender, in conjunction with other social identities, elicits different responses in health care personnel; affects the social worth of patients; and influences priorities of treatment, research, and financing. They concentrate on problems that are located in the body, such as infections, AIDS, or nonfunctioning limbs or senses; and physical processes, such as menstruation and menopause, that in Western society have been transformed into illnesses. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780759102378
  • Publisher: AltaMira Press
  • Publication date: 8/28/2002
  • Series: Gender Lens Series
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 5.96 (w) x 9.36 (h) x 0.76 (d)

Meet the Author

Judith Lorber (born November 28, 1931) is Professor Emerita of Sociology and Women’s Studies at The CUNY Graduate Center and Brooklyn College of the City University of New York. She is a foundational theorist of social construction of gender difference and has more recently called for a de-gendering of the social world.
Lorber was actively involved in Sociologists for Women in Society from the early 1970's. She developed and taught some of the first courses in the sociology of gender, women's studies, and feminist theory at Brooklyn College and the Graduate School, where she was the first Coordinator of the Women's Studies Certificate Program in 1988-1991. She was Chair of the ASA Sex and Gender Section in 1992-93 and was awarded the Jessie Bernard Award in 1996 “in recognition of scholarly work that has enlarged the horizons of sociology to encompass fully the role of women in society.
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Table of Contents

Series Editors' Foreword
Ch. 1 Gender and the Social Construction of Illness: Overview 1
Sex Differences and Gender Statuses
The Social Construction of Illness
The Social Context
Ch. 2 Women Get Sicker, but Men Die Quicker: Social Epidemiology 13
Birthing and Getting Born: Have Money or Be a Boy
Adolescence and Young Adulthood: Good and Bad Social Pressures
Adulthood: Health by Choice or by Circumstances?
Work and Family: Protection and Danger
Old Age: Women Live Longer but Not Better
Dying: Gendered Death Dips
Ch. 3 Hierarchies in Health Care: Patients, Professionals, and Gender 37
Hierarchies of Heath Care Providers
Nurses: Doctor's Handmaidens or Partners?
Gender and Physicians' Practice Styles
Are Women Doctors Better for Women Patients?
Can Women Doctors Change Health Care?
Ch. 4 Gender and Disability: Contradictions and Status Dilemmas 53
Gender Contradictions in Disability
Gendered Caregiving
Gender and Altruism
A Man but Not a Man, a Woman but Not a Woman
Toward a Continuum of Bodiedness
Ch. 5 If a Situation Is Defined as Real: Premenstrual Syndrome and Menopause 71
Medicalized Menstruation
Cultural Constructions of Menstruation
Ritual Menstruation
Emotional Menstruation
PMS: Hormonal Hurricane or High Energy State?
Menopause: The End of Womanhood or the Beginning of a Valued Status?
Politics of PMS and Menopause
Transforming Diagnoses Back into Women's Troubles
Ch. 6 Genital Surgeries: Gendering Bodies 93
Female Ritual Genital Surgery
Male Ritual and Medical Genital Surgery
Genital Surgery on Intersexuals
Politics of Genital Surgery
Ch. 7 A Modern Plague: Gender and AIDS 109
AIDS by the Numbers
Social Paths of Transmission
Safer Sex
The Gender Politics of Risk and Prevention
Mother-to-Child Transmission
Living with AIDS
"AIDS Is Everyone's Trojan Horse"
Ch. 8 Healing Social Bodies in Social Worlds: Feminist Health Care 137
Social Contingencies of Health Care Delivery
Women's and Men's Health Movements
Participatory Medical Encounters
Being a Patient
Making Changes
References 151
Index 177
About the Authors 185
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