Sociology of Health and Illness / Edition 8

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First published in 1981, The Sociology of Health and Illness: Critical Perspectives has become an essential resource for anyone interested in health and health care. In this best-selling anthology, Peter Conrad brings together a wide array of critical and sociological perspectives that highlight the integral relationship between health, illness, and society. Fully updated, the eighth edition includes a new section on the uninsured as well as 10 new readings examining topics such as the failures of health care reform, new trends in medicalization, the growing power of the drug industry, and the determinants of media attention to disease. Provocative and wide-ranging, The Sociology of Health and Illness continues to provide students with an integrated analysis of the most important issues regarding health care today.
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Editorial Reviews

A text that brings a critical and conceptual sociological orientation to bear on the issues underlying the current health care crisis and on proposed changes in the health system. This edition incorporates ten new sections that examine important health issues, including social disadvantage and mortality, anorexia, compliance, and health care reform. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781429205580
  • Publisher: Worth Publishers
  • Publication date: 7/31/2008
  • Edition description: Eighth Edition
  • Edition number: 8
  • Pages: 592
  • Product dimensions: 7.45 (w) x 9.19 (h) x 1.16 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter Conrad is the Harry Coplan Professor of Social Sciences and Chair of the Health: Science, Society and Policy program at Brandeis University. He earned his doctorate from Boston University. The author of numerous books and journal articles on the sociology of health and illness, Dr. Conrad received the Leo G. Reeder Award from the American Sociological Association in 2004 for his distinguished contributions to medical sociology. His works include the award-winning Deviance and Medicalization (written with J.W. Schneider), the co-edited Handbook of Medical Sociology, Fifth Edition, and his newest book, The Medicalization of Society, published in 2007.

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Table of Contents

Preface vii

Acknowledgments ix

General Introduction 1

Part 1 The Social Production of Disease and Illness 5

The Social Nature of Disease 5

1 Medical Measures and the Decline of Mortality John B. McKinlay Sonja M. McKinlay 7

Who Gets Sick? The Unequal Social Distribution of Disease 20

2 Social Class, Susceptibility, and Sickness S. Leonard Syme Lisa F. Berkman 24

3 Excess Mortality in Harlem Colin McCord Harold P. Freeman 30

4 Gender Differences in Mortality: Causes and Variation in Different Societies Ingrid Waldron 38

5 Disease and Disadvantage in the United States and in England James Banks Michael Marmot Zoe Oldfield James P. Smith 55

Our Sickening Social and Physical Environments 67

6 Popular Epidemiology: Community Response to Toxic Waste-Induced Disease Phil Brown 70

7 Social Relationships and Health James S. House Karl R. Landis Debra Umberson 78

8 Dying Alone: The Social Production of Urban Isolation Eric Klinenberg 87

9 Health Inequalities: Relative or Absolute Material Standards? Richard Wilkinson 102

The Social and Cultural Meanings of Illness 108

10 Anorexia Nervosa in Context Joan Jacobs Brumberg 112

11 AIDS and Stigma Gregory M. Herek 126

12 Whose Deaths Matter? Mortality, Advocacy, and Attention to Disease in the Mass Media Elizabeth Armstrong Dan Carpenter Marie E. Hojnacki 134

The Experience of Illness 153

13 Self-Help Literature and the Making of an Illness Identity: The Case of Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS) Kristin Barker 156

14 The Meaning of Medications: Another Look at Compliance Peter Conrad 173

15 The Remission Society Arthur W. Frank 186

Part 2 The Social Organization of Medical Care 191

TheRise and Fall of the Dominance of Medicine 191

16 Professionalization, Monopoly, and the Structure of Medical Practice Peter Conrad Joseph W. Schneider 194

17 Notes on the Decline of Midwives and the Rise of Medical Obstetricians Richard W. Wertz Dorothy C. Wertz 200

18 The End of the Golden Age of Doctoring John B. McKinlay Lisa D. Marceau 213

19 Countervailing Power: The Changing Character of the Medical Profession in the United States Donald W. Light 239

Other Practitioners In and Out of Medicine 249

20 A Caring Dilemma: Womanhood and Nursing in Historical Perspective Susan Reverby 251

21 From Quackery to 'Complementary' Medicine: The American Medical Profession Confronts Alternative Therapies Terri A. Winnick 261

Medical Industries 278

22 The Health Care Industry: Where Is It taking Us? Arnold S. Relman 280

23 The 'Pinking' of Viagra Culture: Drug Industry Efforts to Create and Repackage Sex Drugs for Women Heather Hartley 287

Financing Medical Care 297

24 Why the United States Has No National Health Insurance: Stakeholder Mobilization Against the Welfare State, 1945-1996 Jill Quadagno 301

25 Paying for Health Care Thomas Bodenheimer Kevin Grumbach 321

26 Doctoring as a Business: Money, Markets, and Managed Care Deborah A. Stone 329

System Failure: The Uninsured 337

27 Uninsured in America Gregory Weiss 339

28 Young, Sick, and Part-Time: The Vulnerability of Youth and the New American Job Market Susan Starr Sered Rushika Fernandopulle 347

Medicine in Practice 356

29 The Struggle Between the Voice of Medicine and the Voice of the Lifeworld Elliot G. Mishler 358

30 Social Death as a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy Stefan Timmermans 370

31 The Language of Case Presentation Renee R. Anspach 386

32 'Choosing Later' about Dialysis Treatment Near the End of Life Ann J. Russ Janet K. Shim Sharon R. Kaufman 405

Dilemmas of Medical Technology 415

33 The Artificial Heart: How Close Are We and Do We Want to Get There? Paul D. Simmons 418

34 Issues in the Application of High Cost Medical Technology: The Case of Organ Transplantation Nancy G. Kutner 424

35 A Mirage of Genes Peter Conrad 438

Part 3 Contemporary Critical Debates 449

The Relevance of Risk 449

36 The Prevalence of Risk Factors Among Women in the United States Robert A. Hahn Steven M. Teutsch Adele L. Franks Man-Huei Chang Elizabeth E. Lloyd 451

37 Risk as a Moral Danger: The Social and Political Functions of Risk Discourse in Public Health Deborah Lupton 460

The Medicalization of American Society 468

38 Medicine as an Institution of Social Control Irving Kenneth Zola 470

39 The Shifting Engines of Medicalization Peter Conrad 480

Rationing Medical Care 493

40 Rationing Medical Progress: The Way to Affordable Health Care Daniel Callahan 495

41 The Trouble with Rationing Arnold S. Relman 499

Part 4 Toward Alternatives in Health Care 503

Community Initiatives 503

42 Politicizing Health Care John McKnight 507

43 Helping Ourselves: The Limits and Potential of Self-Help Ann Withorn 510

44 Illness and Internet Empowerment: Writing and Reading Breast Cancer in Cyberspace Victoria Pitts 519

Comparative Health Polices 534

45 Comparative Models of 'Health Care' Systems Donald W. Light 538

46 Health Care Reform: Lessons from Canada Raisa Berlin Deber 553

47 The British National Health Service: Continuity and Change Jonathan Gabe 560

Prevention, Movements, and Social Change 575

48 A Case of Refocusing Upstream: The Political Economy of Illness John B. McKinlay 578

49 Embodied Health Movements: New Approaches to Social Movements in Health Phil Brown Stephan Zavestoski Sabrina McCormick Brian Mayer Rachel Morello-Frosch Rebecca Altman 592

Credits 605

Index 608

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