Medical Professionals And The Organization Of Knowledge

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Medical Professionals and the Organization of Knowledge conveys how medical people shape and organize the knowledge, perception, and experience of illness, as well as the substance of illness behavior, its management, and treatment. It is now well established that the unique symbolic equipment of the human animal is intimately connected with the functioning of the body. Freidson and Lorber believe that the proper understanding of specifically human rather than generally "animal" illness requires careful and systematic study of the social meanings surrounding illness.

The content of social meanings varies from culture to culture and from one historical period to another. As important as the content of those social meanings, is the organization of groups who serve as carriers and, sometimes, creators. In the case of illness, a critical difference exists between those considered to be competent to diagnose and treat the sick and those excluded from this special privilege—a separation as old as the shaman or medicine-man. Such differences become solidified when the expert healer becomes a member of an organized, full-time occupation, sustained in monopoly over the work of diagnosis and treatment by the force of the state and invested with the authority to make official designation of the social meanings to be ascribed to physical states.

The medical profession in advanced nations is in a vise between professional needs and political demands. Its organization and its knowledge establish many of the conditions for being recognizably and legitimately ill, and the professional controls for many of the circumstances of treatment. It thus plays a central role in shaping the experience of being ill. With this fact of modern life in mind, this collection on the character of experts or professionals in general and of medicine as a profession in particular is uniquely fashioned.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780202362083
  • Publisher: Transaction Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/15/2008
  • Pages: 504
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Eliot Freidson was Professor Emeritus of Sociology in the Graduate School of Arts and Science of New York University. He received his undergraduate, M.A., and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Chicago. Professor Freidson is past Chairman of the Research Committee for Medical Sociology of the International Sociological Association; he has also served on scientific advisory boards for the Social Security Administration, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Center for Health Services Research and Development.

Judith Lorber is a professor emerita of sociology at Brooklyn College and the City College of New York Graduate Center. She is author of Gender Inequality: Feminist Theories and Politics, Breaking the Bowls: Degendering and Feminist Change, and Gender and the Social Construction of Illness.

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Table of Contents

I Medical Men Medical Men as Professionals 1
1 Doctors and Lawyers: A Comment on the Theory of the Professions Dietrich Rueschemeyer 5
2 Professionals and Unions in Israel Joseph Ben-David 20
3 The Professionalization of Ayurvedic and Unani Medicine Charles Leslie 39
4 Incomplete Professionalization: The Case of Pharmacy Norman K. Denzin 55
5 "Socialized Medicine" in Practice William A. Glaser 65 Medical Men in Practice 82
6 A Brief History of Medical Practice Vern Bullough Bonnie Bullough 86
7 Changing Attitudes of the Medical Profession to Specialization George Rosen 103
8 Pathology: A Study of Social Movements Within a Profession Rue Bucher 113
9 A Sociology of Psychiatry: A Perspective and some Organizing Foci Leonard Schatzman Anselm Strauss 128
10 Military Psychiatry: The Emergence of a Subspecialty Arlene K. Daniels 145
11 Ethnic and Class Differences Among Hospitals as Contingencies in Medical Careers David N. Solomon 163
12 Authority and Decision-Making in a Hospital: A Comparative Analysis Rose Laub Coser 174
13 Processes of Control in a Company of Equals Eliot Freidson Buford Rhea 185 II Medical Work Managing Patients 202
14 The Everyday Life of Institutionalized "Idiots" Craig MacAndrew Robert Edgerton 207
15 Institutionalized Practices of Information Control Jeanne C. Quint 220
16 Uncertainty in Medical Prognosis, Clinical and Functional Fred Davis 239
17 Equalitarian and Hierarchical Patients: An Investigation Among Hadassah Hospital Patients Ailon Shiloh 249
18 Professionalism and the Poor-Structural Effects and Professional Behavior James Leo Walsh Ray H. Elling 267 Defining and DiagnosingIllness 284
19 The Criminal and the Sick Vilhelm Aubert Sheldon L. Messinger 288
20 Decision Rules, Types of Error, and Their Consequences in Medical Diagnosis Thomas J. Scheff 309
21 The Art and Science of Nondisease Clifton K. Meador 324
22 Disability as Social Deviance Eliot Freidson 330
23 Malingering: "Diagnosis" or Social Condemnation? Thomas S. Szasz 353
24 A Conceptual Analysis of the Accident Phenomenon Edward A. Suchman 369 Producing Medical Knowledge 385
25 Culture and Symptoms-An Analysis of Patients' Presenting Complaints Irving Kenneth Zola 390
26 Deviance as Performance: The Case of Illness Judith Lorber 414
27 Career Patterns of Persons Labeled as Mentally Retarded Jane R. Mercer 425
28 Some Implications of Illness Behavior for Medical Sampling David Mechanic 446
29 Data Collection as a Social Process: Its Implications for "True Prevalence" Studies of Mental Illness Derek L. Phillips 453 Index 473
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