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Gender and the Social Construction of Illness / Edition 1

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In this timely and perceptive volume, Judith Lorber considers the interface between gender as a social institution on the one hand, and western medicine as a social institution on the other. Focusing on belief that illnesses are considered to be physical, Judith 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.

"...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: 9780803958142
  • Publisher: AltaMira Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/1997
  • Series: Gender Lens Series , #4
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 160
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.41 (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

Gender and the Social Construction of Illness
Women Get Sicker but Men Die Quicker
Social Epidemiology
The Doctor Knows Best
Gender and the Medical Encounter
If a Situation is Defined as Real
Premenstrual Syndrome and Menopause
A Modern Plague
Gender and AIDS
Treating Social Bodies in Social Worlds
Feminist Health Care

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