This engaging and accessible reader takes a social problems approach to health and medicine, providing a broad and critical lens on contemporary health problems. Designed for courses on social problems and on medical sociology, the volume embraces two fundamental principles: that health and illness are at least partly socially produced, and that health care is not an unfettered good and often brings with it serious social problems. The volume is organized into six sections, addressing the medicalization of human problems; the social construction of health problems; social movements; gender; race and class and the provision of health care; and medical accountability. Taken together, the essays demonstrate the depth and richness of a social problems approach to health and medicine, and the critical perspective it brings to our understanding of health and illness in U.S. society.
Peter Conrad is Harry Coplan Professor of Social Sciences at Brandeis University. His major research interests are in health and illness, social problems, and deviance. He served as president of the SSSP during 1996-97. He is currently completing a book on "the medicalization of society." Valerie Leiter is assistant professor of sociology at Simmons College. Her work focuses on disability, sociology of childhood, and family sociology. Currently, her research examines children's access to health care, and formal and familial systems of care for children with disabilities.
Chapter 1 1. Introduction Part 2 I. MEDICALIZATION Chapter 3 2. Deviant Drinking as Disease: Alcoholism as a Social Accomplishment Chapter 4 3. Primum Non Nocere: Chemical Execution and the Limits of Medical Social Control Chapter 5 4. From Hyperactive Children to ADHD Adults: Observations on the Expansion of Medical Categories Part 6 II. SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION OF HEALTH PROBLEMS Chapter 7 5. The 'Discovery' of Child Abuse Chapter 8 6. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome as Medical Research Problem Since 1945 Chapter 9 7. Officer Ugg, Mr. Yuk, Uncle Barf...Ad Nausea: Controlling Poison Control,1950-1985 Part 10 III. SOCIAL MOVEMENTS Chapter 11 8. Silence, Death, and the Invisible Enemy: AIDS Activism and Social Movement "Newness" Chapter 12 9. Dynamics of Black Mobilization Against AIDS in New York City Chapter 13 10. Racing for the Cure, Walking Women, and Toxic Touring: Mapping Cultures of Action within the Bay Area Terrain of Breast Cancer Part 14 IV. GENDER Chapter 15 11. The Politics of Menopause: The "Discovery" of a Deficiency Disease Chapter 16 12. Accounting for Cosmetic Surgery: The Accomplishment of Gender Chapter 17 13. The Emergence of Premenstrual Syndrome as a Social Problem Part 18 V. RACE, CLASS AND HEALTH CARE Chapter 19 14. Race versus Class in the Health Care of African-American Elderly Chapter 20 15. Lessons in Control: Prenatal Education in the Hospital Part 21 VI. MEDICAL ACCOUNTABILITY Chapter 22 16. Sick Doctors: The Social Construction of Professional Deviance Chapter 23 17. Changing Doctor-Patient Relationships and the Rise in Concern for Accountability Chapter 24 18. Changing Medical Practice and Medical Malpractice Claims