The Social Medicine Reader, Volume II, Third Edition

Differences and Inequalities

The Social Medicine Reader, Volume II, Third Edition

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Information about volume 1 is available here.
Book Pages: 368 Illustrations: 1 illustration Published: May 2019

Medicine and Health > Medical Humanities, Sociology

The extensively updated and revised third edition of the bestselling Social Medicine 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.

Volume 2, Differences and Inequalities, explores the fundamental sociocultural, socioeconomic, and racial dimensions that shape health differences and inequalities. These include social and cultural influences on the meanings of health, illness, and disease; social factors in the development of biomedical knowledge and systems of care; and structural explanations for why some social groups experience disproportionate burdens of disease and differences in treatment. The Reader is essential reading for all medical students, physicians, and health care providers.


"A must-read for health care professionals, these readings are provocative and invite critical social and moral analysis among health care professionals. Essential. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty." — B. A. D'Anna, Choice

“This collection offers a terrific introduction to the social science and humanities foundations needed for effective health care and medicine. Served up in compelling bite-size pieces suitable for health science students, this collection nevertheless remains uncompromising in its refusal of easy solutions and quick fixes on disability, the racialization of care, the structural determinants of health, and much more.” — Vincanne Adams, editor of Medical Anthropology Quarterly

“The new third edition of The Social Medicine Reader is absolutely essential reading for those who seek to understand the core issues that determine health, disease, and medical care in our current times. The essays collected here direct critical attention to the social forces that produce disease or protect health, the meanings of disease and their impact on patients, and the complex ethical and political issues confronting patients and providers. This is a must-read for anyone interested in disparities in health, access to quality of care, and justice in our ability to effectively and compassionately address the needs of patients and populations.” — Allan M. Brandt, Harvard University


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Price: $28.95

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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Jonathan Oberlander is Professor and Chair of Social Medicine and Professor of Health Policy and Management at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Mara Buchbinder is Associate Professor of Social Medicine and Adjunct Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Larry R. Churchill is Professor of Medical Ethics Emeritus at Vanderbilt University.

Sue E. Estroff is Professor of Social Medicine and Adjunct Professor of Anthropology and Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Nancy M. P. King is Professor in the Department of Social Sciences and Health Policy at Wake Forest School of Medicine.

Barry F. Saunders is Associate Professor of Social Medicine and holds adjunct appointments in Anthropology, Religious Studies, and Communication Studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Ronald P. Strauss is Dental Friends Distinguished Professor of Dental Ecology and Professor of Social Medicine at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Rebecca L. Walker is Professor of Social Medicine, Core Faculty in the Center for Bioethics, and holds an adjunct appointment in the Department of Philosophy, at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Preface to the Third Edition  ix
Introduction  1
Social and Cultural Contributions to Health, Differences, and Inequalities / Sue E. Estroff and Gail E. Henderson  3
Part I. Defining and Experiencing Differences
Beyond Medicalisation / Nikolas Rose  31
On Being a Cripple / Nancy Mairs  37
What You Mourn / Sheila Black  48
Physicians' Juries for Defective Babies / Helen Keller  50
Blind, Deaf, and Pro-Eugenics: Helen Keller's Advice in Context / Raúl Necochea López  52
Tell Me, Tell Me / Irving Kenneth Zola  54
Instructions to Hearing Persons Desiring a Deaf Man / Raymond Luczak  61
I Have Diabetes. Am I to Blame? / Rivers Solomon  62
Part II. Sickness amid Relationships
Twisted Lies: My Journey in an Imperfect Body / Sherri G. Morris  67
Raising a Woman / Mary Stainton  78
The Sick Wife / Jane Kenyon  83
The Loneliness of the Long-Term Care Giver / Carol Levine  84
Fathers and Sons / David Mason  92
Parents Support Group / Dick Allen  93
Part III. Social Factors and Inequalities
"Doctors Don't Know Anything": The Clinical Gaze in Migrant Health / Seth M. Holmes  97
Anthropology in the Clinic: The Problem of Cultural Competency and How to Fix It / Arthur Kleinman and Peter Benson  116
Beyond Cultural Competence: Applying Humility to Clinical Settings / Linda M. Hunt  127
The Racist Patient / Sachin H. Jain  132
The Social Determinants of Health: Coming of Age / Paul Braverman, Susan Egerter, and David R. Williams  134
Structural Violence and Clinical Medicine / Paul E. Farmer, Bruce Nizeye, Sara Stulac, and Salmaan Keshaviee  156
Structural Competency Meets Structural Racism: Race, Politics, and the Structure of Medical Knowledge / Jonathan M. Metzl and Dorthy E. Roberts  170
Racial Categories in Medical Practice: How Useful Are They? / Lundy Braun, Anne Fausto-Sterling, Duana Fullwiley, Evelynn M. Hammonds, Alondra Nelson, William Quivers, Susan M. Reverby, and Alexandra E. Shields  188
Taking Race Out of Human Genetics: Engaging a Century-Long Debate about the Role of Race in Science / Michael Yudell, Dorothy Roberts, Rob DeSalle, and Sarah Tishkoff  204
Structural Racism and Health Inequalities in the United States of America: Evidence and Interventions / Zinzi D. Bailey, Nancy Krieger, Madina Agénor, Jasmine Graves, Natalia Linos, and Mary T. Bassett  209
America's Hidden HIV Epidemic / Linda Villarosa  235
Is the Prescription Opioid Epidemic a White Problem? / Helena Hansen and Julie Netherland  254
Understanding Associations between Race, Socioeconomic Status and Health: Patterns and Prospects / David R. Williams, Naomi Priest, and Norman Anderson  258
Can Disparities Be Deadly? Controversial Research Explores Whether Living in an Unequal Society Can Make People Sick / Emily Underwood  268
Religion and Global Health / Peter J. Brown  275
Part IV. Politics, Institutions, and Care
Thinking through the Pain / Keith Wailoo  297
Unfinished Journey: The Struggle over Universal Health Insurance in the United States / Jonathan Oberlander  305
On Incarceration and Health: Reframing the Discussion / Rahul Vanjani  314
Bioexpectations: Life Technologies as Humanitarian Goods / Peter Redfield  318
About the Editors  341
Index  343
Sales/Territorial Rights: World

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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-1-4780-0282-6 / Cloth ISBN: 978-1-4780-0174-4
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