The Social Medicine Reader, Second Edition

Volume Two: Social and Cultural Contributions to Health, Difference, and Inequality

The Social Medicine Reader, Second Edition

Book Pages: 336 Illustrations: Published: August 2005

Medicine and Health > Medical Humanitites, Sociology

Duke University Press is pleased to announce the second edition of the bestselling Social Medicine Reader. The Reader provides a survey of the challenging issues facing today’s health care providers, patients, and caregivers by bringing together moving narratives of illness, commentaries by physicians, debates about complex medical cases, and conceptually and empirically based writings by scholars in medicine, the social sciences, and the humanities. The first edition of The Social Medicine Reader was a single volume. This significantly revised and expanded second edition is divided into three volumes to facilitate use by different audiences with varying interests.

Praise for the 3-volume second edition of The Social Medicine Reader:
“A superb collection of essays that illuminate the role of medicine in modern society. Students and general readers are not likely to find anything better.”—Arnold S. Relman, Professor Emeritus of Medicine and Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School

Praise for the first edition:
“This reviewer strongly recommends The Social Medicine Reader to the attention of medical educators.”—Samuel W. Bloom, JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association

Volume 2:

Ranging from a historical look at eugenics to an ethnographic description of parents receiving the news that their child has Down syndrome, from analyses of inequalities in the delivery of health services to an examination of the meaning of race in genomics research, and from a meditation on the loneliness of the long-term caregiver to a reflection on what children owe their elderly parents, this volume explores health and illness. Social and Cultural Contributions to Health, Difference, and Inequality brings together seventeen pieces new to this edition of The Social Medicine Reader and five pieces that appeared in the first edition. It focuses on how difference and disability are defined and experienced in contemporary America, how the social categories commonly used to predict disease outcomes—such as gender, race and ethnicity, and social class—have become contested terrain, and why some groups have more limited access to health care services than others. Juxtaposing first-person narratives with empirical and conceptual studies, this compelling collection draws on several disciplines, including cultural and medical anthropology, sociology, and the history of medicine.

Contributors: Laurie K. Abraham, Raj Bhopal, Ami S. Brodoff, Daniel Callahan, David Diamond, Liam Donaldson, Alice Dreger, Sue E. Estroff, Paul Farmer, Anne Fausto-Sterling, Jerome Groopman, Gail E. Henderson, Linda M. Hunt, Barbara A. Koenig, Donald R. Lannin, Sandra Soo-Jin Lee, Carol Levine, Judith Lorber, Nancy Mairs, Holly F. Mathews, James P. Mitchell, Joanna Mountain, Alan R. Nelson, Martin S. Pernick, Rayna Rapp, Sally L. Satel, Robert S. Schwartz, Brian D. Smedley, Adrienne Y. Stith, Sharon Sytsma, Gordon Weaver, Bruce Wilson, Irving Kenneth Zola


“The academic discipline of social medicine has struggled to find a precise definition for over a century. This struggle is exemplified by the classic social medicine course book, The Social Medicine Reader, edited by faculty from the Department of Social Medicine at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, which offers an expansive view of social medicine's concerns.” — Dorothy Porter, PLoS Med

“Volume two of The Social Medicine Reader makes an important contribution to the field of medical sociology. The book is well worth the read and enough of the chapters are of sociological relevance to consider assigning as required reading for courses of the sociology of health, illness, and disability.” — Carrie E. Foote-Ardah, Teaching Sociology

"The Social Medicine Reader fulfills its purposes admirably. The selected readings will stimulate critical analysis of the experiences of modern medicine from both professional and patient perspectives." — Samuel W. Bloom, JAMA

“In this balanced collection of readings, the perennially contested categories of gender and race, and their implications for understanding the social origins of health inequalities are reexamined in light of existing and anticipated advances in genomics research. I highly recommend this book to anyone seeking to understand how biology and culture interact to shape human health and the behavior of health professionals.” — Sherman A. James, Susan B. King Professor of Public Policy Studies, Duke University


Availability: In stock
Price: $27.95

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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Gail E. Henderson, Associate Professor of Social Medicine and Adjunct Professor of Sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is the author of The Chinese Hospital: A Socialist Work Unit.

Sue E. Estroff is Professor of Social Medicine and Adjunct Professor of Anthropology and Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is the author of Making It Crazy: An Ethnography of Psychiatric Clients in an American Community.

Larry R. Churchill is Professor of and Chair of the Department of Social Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is the author of Self-Interest and Universal Health Care: Why Well-Insured Americans Should Support Coverage for Everyone and Rationing Health Care in America: Perceptions and Principles of Justice.

Nancy M. P. King, Associate Professor of Social Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is the author of Making Sense of Advance Directives.

Jonathan Oberlander is an associate professor of social medicine and an adjunct associate professor of political science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Ronald P. Strauss is Professor of Dental Ecology and Social Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is author of numerous articles on social and ethical issues in the care of chronic illness.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Preface to the Second Edition vii

Introduction 1

Social and Cultural Contributions to Health, Difference, and Inequality / Sue Estroff and Gail E. Henderson 4

Part I. Defining and Exploring Difference

Defining the Defective: Eugenics, Aesthetics, and Mass Culture in Early 20th-Century America / Martin S. Pernick 29

Extra Chromosomes and Blue Tulips: Medico-familial Interpretations / Rayna Rapp 50

On Being a Cripple / Nancy Mairs 70

Tell Me, Tell Me / Irving Kenneth Zola 82

Finch the Spastic Speaks / Gordon Weaver 89

Part II. Social Factors and Inequality

Introduction to Infections and Inequalities: The Modern Plagues / Paul Farmer 105

Unequal Treatment: What Healthcare Providers Need to Know about Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Healthcare / Brian D. Smedley, Adrienne Y. Stith, and Alan R. Nelson 123

Beyond Cultural Competence: Applying Humility to Clinical Settings / Linda M. Hunt 133

Coming to Terms with Advanced Breast Cancer: Black Women's Narratives from Eastern North Carolina / Holly F. Mathews, Donald R. Lannin, and James P. Mitchell 137

Women Get Sicker, but Men Die Quicker / Judith Lorber 164

Hormones for Men: Is Male Menopause a Question of Medicine or of Marketing? / Jerome Groopman 191

The Five Sexes, Revisited / Anne Fausto-Sterling 202

Case Study: Culture Clash Involving Intersex / David Diamond, Sharon Sytsma, Alice Dreger, and Bruce Wilson 211

The Meanings of "Race" in the New Genomics: Implications for Health Disparities Research / Sandra Soo-Jin Lee, Joanna Mountain, and Barbara Koenig 218

White, European, Western, Caucasian, or What? Inappropriate Labeling in Research on Race, Ethnicity, and Health / Raj Bhopal and Liam Donaldson 252

Racial Profiling in Medical Research / Robert S. Schwartz 263

I Am a Racially Profiling Doctor / Sally L. Satel 268

Part III. Social Relationships and Sickness

"Where Crowded Humanity Suffers and Sickens": The Banes Family and Their Neighborhood / Laura K. Abraham 277

First-Person Account: Schizophrenia through a Sister's Eyes—The Burden of Invisible Baggage / Ami S. Brodoff 293

The Loneliness of the Long-Term Care Giver / Carol Levine 299

What Do Children Owe Elderly Parents? / Daniel Callahan 307

Index to Authors 321

About the Editors 322

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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-3593-1 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-3580-1
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