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For upper-division undergraduate/beginning graduate-level courses in Medical Sociology, and for Behavioral Science courses in schools of Public Health, Medicine, Pharmacy, and Nursing.

Offers a comprehensive overview of the most current issues in medical sociology.

The standard text in the field, this best-selling introduction to medical sociology presents the most recent and relevant ideas, concepts, themes, issues, debates, and research findings. It contains first-person accounts from patients, physicians, and other health care providers. It is based on a worldwide review of the literature and provides the most recent health statistics, data, and studies available while identifying the most important trends and issues.

Note: MySearchLab does not come automatically packaged with this text. To purchase MySearchLab, please visit: or you can purchase a ValuePack of the text + MySearchLab with Pearson eText (at no additional cost). ValuePack ISBN-10: 0205806449 / ValuePack ISBN-13: 9780205806447

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780205806447
  • Publisher: Pearson
  • Publication date: 12/7/2011
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 12
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 1,280,443
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

William C. Cockerham received his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley and is Distinguished Professor of Sociology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He is also Co-Director of the UAB Center for Social Medicine and holds secondary appointments in medicine and public health. He is the recipient of the UAB Connors Prize in the History of Ideas and the Ireland Award for Distinguished Scholarship. Currently, he is serving as the President of the Research Committee on Health Sociology of the International Sociological Association and is on the Editorial Board of the American Sociological Review. Dr. Cockerham has published numerous peer-reviewed papers in academic journals and is author or editor of fourteen books. His most recent books published by Pearson include Medical Sociology, 12th edition (2012) and the Sociology of Mental Disorder, 8th edition (2010).

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Table of Contents





Chapter 1: Medical Sociology

Chapter 2: Epidemiology

Chapter 3: Social Demography of Health: Social Class

Chapter 4: The Social Demography of Health: Gender, Age, and Race

Chapter 5: Social Stress and Health

Chapter 6: Health Behavior And Lifestyles

Chapter 7: Illness Behavior

Chapter 8: The Sick Role

Chapter 9: Doctor–Patient Interaction

Chapter 10: Healing Options

Chapter 11: Physicians

Chapter 12: The Physician in a Changing Society

Chapter 13: Nurses, Physician Assistants, Pharmacists, and Midwives

Chapter 14: The Hospital in Society

Chapter 15: Health Care REFORM and Social Policy in the United States

Chapter 16: Global Health Care




Part I Introduction

1 Medical Sociology

The Development of Medical Sociology

Defining Health

Contrasting Ideas about Health and Social Behavior

The Re-emergence of Infectious Diseases



Suggested Reading

Medical Sociology Internet Sites

2 Epidemiology

Epidemiological Measures

The Development of Epidemiology

Disease and Modernization

The Complexity of Modern Ills: Heart Disease

Pandemics: HIV/AIDS and Influenza


Suggested Reading

Epidemiology Internet Sites

3 Social Demography of Health: Social Class

The Components of Social Class

Modern Diseases and the Poor

Equality of Care and the Social Gradient in Mortality: The British Experience

Neighborhood Disadvantage

SES as a Fundamental Cause of Sickness and Mortality


Suggested Reading

Social Class and Health Internet Sites

4 The Social Demography of Health: Gender, Age, and Race





Suggested Reading

Social Demography of Health: Gender, Age, and Race Internet Sites

Part II Health and Illness

5 Social Stress and Health

Cooley, Thomas, and Goffman: Symbolic Interaction

Durkheim: Functionalism


Social Factors and Stress

Life Changes


Suggested Reading

Social Stress Internet Sites

6 Health Behavior And Lifestyles

Health Lifestyles

Preventive Care


Suggested Reading

Health Behavior and Lifestyles Internet Sites

7 Illness Behavior


Sociodemographic Variables

Recognizing and Coping with Illness Symptoms

Summary and Conclusion

Suggested Reading

Illness Behavior Internet Sites


8 The Sick Role

Illness as Deviance

The Functionalist Approach to Deviance

The Sick Role


Criticism of the Sick Role

Labeling Theory

Sickness as Social Deviance?

Being Sick and Disabled



Suggested Reading

The Sick Role Internet Sites

9 Doctor–Patient Interaction

Models of Interaction

Misunderstandings in Communication

Communication and Class Background

Male Physicians and Women Patients

Women Physicians

Cultural Differences in Communication

Patient Compliance

The Future of Doctor–Patient Relations

Doctor–Patient Relations and New Technology

The New Genetics


Suggested Reading

Doctor–Patient Interaction Internet Sites

10 Healing Options


Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM)


Faith Healing and Religion

Folk Healing


Suggested Reading

Healing Options Internet Sites

Part IV Providing Health Care

11 Physicians

The Professionalization of the Physician

The Socialization of the Physician

The Power Structure of American Medicine


Suggested Reading

Physicians Internet Sites

12 The Physician in a Changing Society

Social Control of Medical Practice

Countervailing Power

Government Regulation

Managed Care

The Coming of the Corporation

The Changing Physician–Patient Relationship

The Deprofessionalization of Physicians

The Evolution of the Organization of Medical Practice


Suggested Reading

The Physician in a Changing Society Internet Sites

13 Nurses, Physician Assistants, Pharmacists, and Midwives

Nursing: Past and Present

Nursing: Future Trends

Physician Assistants




Suggested Reading

Nurses, Physician Assistants, Pharmacists, and Midwives Internet Sites

14 The Hospital in Society

The Development of the Hospital as a Social Institution

Hospitals in the United States

The Organization of the Nonprofit Community Hospital

The Hospital–Patient Role

The Rising Cost of Hospitalization


Suggested Reading

Hospitals Internet Sites

Part V Health Care Delivery Systems

15 Health Care REFORM and Social Policy in the United States

Rising Costs

The Road to Health reform

Equity in Health Services

Distribution of Services

Overview of Health Care Delivery

Health Care: A Right or a Privilege?

Summary and Conclusion

Suggested Reading

Health Care Delivery and Social Policy in the United States Internet Sites

16 Global Health Care

Socialized Medicine: Canada, Great Britain, and Sweden

Decentralized National Health Programs: Japan, Germany, and Mexico

Socialist Medicine: Alterations in Russia and China


Suggested Reading

Health Care in Other Countries Internet Sites


Photo Credits

Name Index

Subject Index

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