medical sociology


Summary: The study of the social determinants and social effects of health and disease, and of the social structure of medical institutions or professions.

Top Publications

  1. Gikonyo C, Bejon P, Marsh V, Molyneux S. Taking social relationships seriously: lessons learned from the informed consent practices of a vaccine trial on the Kenyan Coast. Soc Sci Med. 2008;67:708-20 pubmed publisher
  2. Marsh V, Kamuya D, Rowa Y, Gikonyo C, Molyneux S. Beginning community engagement at a busy biomedical research programme: experiences from the KEMRI CGMRC-Wellcome Trust Research Programme, Kilifi, Kenya. Soc Sci Med. 2008;67:721-33 pubmed publisher
  3. Theobald S, Nhlema Simwaka B. The research, policy and practice interface: reflections on using applied social research to promote equity in health in Malawi. Soc Sci Med. 2008;67:760-70 pubmed publisher
  4. Geissler P, Kelly A, Imoukhuede B, Pool R. 'He is now like a brother, I can even give him some blood'--relational ethics and material exchanges in a malaria vaccine 'trial community' in The Gambia. Soc Sci Med. 2008;67:696-707 pubmed publisher
    ..Ultimately, the ethics of global science can rely neither on principles nor trust but requires citizenship and democratic government. ..
  5. Ehrich K, Williams C, Scott R, Sandall J, Farsides B. Social welfare, genetic welfare? Boundary-work in the IVF/PGD clinic. Soc Sci Med. 2006;63:1213-24 pubmed
    ..We argue that consideration of the welfare of the child involves staff in ethical boundary-work across the two orientations and between the accountabilities and responsibilities of healthcare professionals, individuals and the state. ..
  6. Molyneux S, Geissler P. Ethics and the ethnography of medical research in Africa. Soc Sci Med. 2008;67:685-95 pubmed publisher
  7. Bourne P. Medical sociology: modelling well-being for elderly people in Jamaica. West Indian Med J. 2008;57:596-604 pubmed
    ..The general wellbeing of the Jamaican elderly is low (mean of 3.9/14 +/- 2.3). The model provides a basis upon which we can address patient care and 'good' health. ..
  8. Mechanic D. Who shall lead: is there a future for population health?. J Health Polit Policy Law. 2003;28:421-42 pubmed
    ..Among these are a clear definition of the boundaries of the field, a continuing flow of resources for development, and attractive career structures for new recruits and future leaders. ..
  9. Prior L. Belief, knowledge and expertise: the emergence of the lay expert in medical sociology. Sociol Health Illn. 2003;25:41-57 pubmed

More Information


  1. Lynch J, Harper S, Kaplan G, Davey Smith G. Associations between income inequality and mortality among US states: the importance of time period and source of income data. Am J Public Health. 2005;95:1424-30 pubmed
    ..g., income inequality) to affect mortality is contingent on how such determinants influence levels of proximal risk factors and the time lags between exposure to those risk factors and effects on specific health outcomes. ..
  2. May C, Rapley T, Moreira T, Finch T, Heaven B. Technogovernance: evidence, subjectivity, and the clinical encounter in primary care medicine. Soc Sci Med. 2006;62:1022-30 pubmed
  3. Glass T, McAtee M. Behavioral science at the crossroads in public health: extending horizons, envisioning the future. Soc Sci Med. 2006;62:1650-71 pubmed
    ..To illustrate the potential of these innovations, we develop a multilevel framework for the study of health behaviors and obesity in social and biological context. ..
  4. Lehoux P, Sicotte C, Denis J, Berg M, Lacroix A. The theory of use behind telemedicine: how compatible with physicians' clinical routines?. Soc Sci Med. 2002;54:889-904 pubmed
  5. Moreira T. Diversity in clinical guidelines: the role of repertoires of evaluation. Soc Sci Med. 2005;60:1975-85 pubmed
    ..This research provides a detailed and layered understanding of the knowledge dynamics involved in developing recommendations for appropriate health care for specific clinical circumstance. ..
  6. Williams S. Beyond medicalization-healthicization? A rejoinder to Hislop and Arber. Sociol Health Illn. 2004;26:453-9; discussion 460-3 pubmed
  7. Beier L. Expertise and control: Childbearing in three twentieth-century working-class Lancashire communities. Bull Hist Med. 2004;78:379-409 pubmed
  8. Kroll Smith S. Popular media and 'excessive daytime sleepiness': a study of rhetorical authority in medical sociology. Sociol Health Illn. 2003;25:625-43 pubmed
    ..significance of popular culture in the creation of medical troubles summons an alternative version of medical sociology. A limited case for this claim is made by revisiting two key ideas in this field: naming diseases and the ..
  9. Stys J. Social analysis formation for nurse educators. Nurs Educ Perspect. 2008;29:366-9 pubmed
    ..Definitions of social justice and social analysis are offered, and a social analysis methodology for nurse educators is recommended. ..
  10. Hølge Hazelton B, Malterud K. Gender in medicine -- does it matter?. Scand J Public Health. 2009;37:139-45 pubmed publisher
    ..We conclude that gender still matters in medicine. ..
  11. Fujishiro K. Is perceived racial privilege associated with health? Findings from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. Soc Sci Med. 2009;68:840-4 pubmed publisher
    ..Impacts of perceived racial privilege deserve more attention in the literature on racism and health. ..
  12. Power A. Caring for independent lives: geographies of caring for young adults with intellectual disabilities. Soc Sci Med. 2008;67:834-43 pubmed publisher
    ..2007). Sociologies of disability and illness: Contested ideas in disability studies and medical sociology. Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.)...
  13. Holtman M. A theoretical sketch of medical professionalism as a normative complex. Adv Health Sci Educ Theory Pract. 2008;13:233-45 pubmed publisher
    ..A valid assessment of professionalism requires an adequate accounting of the social reaction to an individual's professional conduct, because the reaction and the conduct itself are inseparable. ..
  14. Blaxter M. The case of the vanishing patient? Image and experience. Sociol Health Illn. 2009;31:762-78 pubmed publisher
    ..Features of the contemporary British health service which seem to foster this are discussed. ..
  15. van der Pol M, Cairns J. Comparison of two methods of eliciting time preference for future health states. Soc Sci Med. 2008;67:883-9 pubmed publisher
  16. Abraham J. Partial progress: governing the pharmaceutical industry and the NHS, 1948-2008. J Health Polit Policy Law. 2009;34:931-77 pubmed publisher
    ..from political theory, and "counter-vailing powers" and "clinical autonomy" in medical sociology, while also introducing the new concepts of "assimilated allies" and "pharmaceuticalization&..
  17. Meyer I, Schwartz S, Frost D. Social patterning of stress and coping: does disadvantaged social statuses confer more stress and fewer coping resources?. Soc Sci Med. 2008;67:368-79 pubmed publisher
    ..We discuss this lack of parsimony in social stress explanations for health disparities. ..
  18. Hull A. Teamwork, clinical research, and the development of scientific medicines in interwar Britain: the "Glasgow School" revisited. Bull Hist Med. 2007;81:569-93 pubmed
  19. Poulin M. Sex, money, and premarital partnerships in southern Malawi. Soc Sci Med. 2007;65:2383-93 pubmed
  20. Browning D, Meyer E, Truog R, Solomon M. Difficult conversations in health care: cultivating relational learning to address the hidden curriculum. Acad Med. 2007;82:905-13 pubmed
    ..By creating a curriculum and learning environment that explicitly embraces the moral experience of learners, the program's developers aim to exert a countercultural influence on the dehumanizing effects of the hidden curriculum. ..
  21. Wilson S. 'When you have children, you're obliged to live': motherhood, chronic illness and biographical disruption. Sociol Health Illn. 2007;29:610-26 pubmed
  22. Broom A, Tovey P. Therapeutic pluralism? Evidence, power and legitimacy in UK cancer services. Sociol Health Illn. 2007;29:551-69 pubmed
    ..Rather, it should be seen as producing a complex array of processes, including strategic adaptation on the part of medical specialists and NHS organisations. ..
  23. Kriebel D. Response: if society is our patient, how shall we take its pulse?. New Solut. 2008;18:111-9 pubmed publisher
    ..This article illustrates some of the implications for the prevention of disease that result from treating society as our patient. ..
  24. Elliott J, Haney T, Sams Abiodun P. Limits to social capital: comparing network assistance in two New Orleans neighborhoods devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Sociol Q. 2010;51:624-48 pubmed
  25. Wainwright S, Williams C, Michael M, Farsides B, Cribb A. From bench to bedside? Biomedical scientists' expectations of stem cell science as a future therapy for diabetes. Soc Sci Med. 2006;63:2052-64 pubmed
    ..We frame our discussion within the emerging literature of the sociology of expectations. ..
  26. Goldney R, Schioldann J, Dunn K. Suicide research before Durkheim. Health History. 2008;10:73-93 pubmed
    ..Therefore it is not unexpected that many believe that there had not been any substantial suicide research before Durkheim, let alone any which had addressed illness and biological factors and their inter-relationship with society. ..
  27. Sloane D, Nascimento L, Flynn G, Lewis L, Guinyard J, Galloway Gilliam L, et al. Assessing resource environments to target prevention interventions in community chronic disease control. J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2006;17:146-58 pubmed
  28. McVaugh M. Richard Wiseman and the medical practitioners of restoration London. J Hist Med Allied Sci. 2007;62:125-40 pubmed
  29. Fullwiley D. Out from under the skin: Disease etiology, biology and society: a commentary on Aronowitz. Soc Sci Med. 2008;67:14-7; discussion 20-22 pubmed publisher
  30. Timmermann C. As depressing as it was predictable? Lung cancer, clinical trials, and the Medical Research Council in postwar Britain. Bull Hist Med. 2007;81:312-34 pubmed
    ..The paper deals with an important episode in the history of clinical cancer research in postwar Britain, illustrating the ethical and practical problems faced by the organizers. ..
  31. Kai I. [Perspective of social gerontology]. Nihon Ronen Igakkai Zasshi. 2008;45:28-9 pubmed
  32. Ribera J, Hausmann Muela S, D Alessandro U, Grietens K. Malaria in pregnancy: what can the social sciences contribute?. PLoS Med. 2007;4:e92 pubmed
  33. Smith S, Goldman R, Dollase R, Taylor J. Assessing medical students for non-traditional competencies. Med Teach. 2007;29:711-6 pubmed
    ..Allowing students wide latitude in expressing themselves and their accomplishments helps to ensure success. ..
  34. Bryan C, Golden R. The Osler industry: insightful history or insipid hagiography?. J Med Biogr. 2007;15 Suppl 1:2-5 pubmed
  35. Barabasi A. Network medicine--from obesity to the "diseasome". N Engl J Med. 2007;357:404-7 pubmed
  36. Gerkin D. Am I my brother's keeper?. Tenn Med. 2006;99:6-7 pubmed
  37. Coiera E. Putting the technical back into socio-technical systems research. Int J Med Inform. 2007;76 Suppl 1:S98-103 pubmed
    ..Indeed the process of design itself can be seen as a socio-technical one, and understanding the decision to design itself may allow us one day to stop designing for people, and create STS that sustainably design themselves. ..
  38. Link B. Epidemiological sociology and the social shaping of population health. J Health Soc Behav. 2008;49:367-84 pubmed
    ..Absent a robust societal investment in epidemiological sociology, population health will reside below its optimal level and the maldistribution of health-enhancing innovations will continue to create health disparities. ..
  39. Walton M. Hierarchies: the Berlin Wall of patient safety. Qual Saf Health Care. 2006;15:229-30 pubmed
  40. Coveney C, Nerlich B, Martin P. Modafinil in the media: metaphors, medicalisation and the body. Soc Sci Med. 2009;68:487-95 pubmed publisher
    ..This leads us to conclude that conceptually, the acceptability of 'enhancement' is strongly tied to context of use and intricately related to medical social control. ..
  41. Radley A, Cheek J, Ritter C. The making of health:: a reflection on the first 10 years in the life of a journal. Health (London). 2006;10:389-400 pubmed
    ..We conclude that there continues to be more to health than it being the background to illness or disease, and ask the question: should the 'taken for grantedness' of health be taken for granted any longer? ..
  42. Cesaroni G, Agabiti N, Forastiere F, Ancona C, Perucci C. Socioeconomic differentials in premature mortality in Rome: changes from 1990 to 2001. BMC Public Health. 2006;6:270 pubmed
    ..Strategies to monitor the impact of SEP on mortality over time in different populations should be implemented to direct health policies. ..
  43. Callan V, Gallois C, Mayhew M, Grice T, Tluchowska M, Boyce R. Restructuring the multi-professional organization: professional identity and adjustment to change in a public hospital. J Health Hum Serv Adm. 2007;29:448-77 pubmed
    ..These results were more pronounced for employees who identified with their professional department. Implications for managing multiple identities during organizational transition are discussed. ..
  44. Fabrega H. Why psychiatric conditions are special: an evolutionary and cross-cultural perspective. Perspect Biol Med. 2006;49:586-601 pubmed
    ..They comprise a species of human problems ontologically distinct from the conditions handled by other medical disciplines. ..
  45. Malpass A, Shaw A, Sharp D, Walter F, Feder G, Ridd M, et al. "Medication career" or "moral career"? The two sides of managing antidepressants: a meta-ethnography of patients' experience of antidepressants. Soc Sci Med. 2009;68:154-68 pubmed publisher
    ..e. their 'moral career' of medication use. This may lead to valuable discussion of what taking antidepressants means for patients' sense of self and how their treatment decisions may be influenced by a felt sense of stigma. ..
  46. Cohen Cole E, Fletcher J. Is obesity contagious? Social networks vs. environmental factors in the obesity epidemic. J Health Econ. 2008;27:1382-7 pubmed publisher
    ..We further note the presence of estimation bias resulting from use of an incorrectly specified dynamic model. ..
  47. Huyse F, Stiefel F, De Jonge P. Identifiers, or "red flags," of complexity and need for integrated care. Med Clin North Am. 2006;90:703-12 pubmed
    ..This article provides a table with potential identifiers and discusses the difference between disease-oriented screening and treatment and a more generic approach such as complexity screening and complexity management. ..
  48. Persson A, Richards W. Vulnerability, gender and "proxy negativity": women in relationships with HIV-positive men in Australia. Soc Sci Med. 2008;67:799-807 pubmed publisher
    ..As a result, this paper makes an important contribution by showing how vulnerability to HIV infection can hinge on the different ways serodiscordant couples manage gendered meanings around serostatus emotionally and sexually. ..
  49. Feldmann C, Bensing J, de Ruijter A, Boeije H. Afghan refugees and their general practitioners in The Netherlands: to trust or not to trust?. Sociol Health Illn. 2007;29:515-35 pubmed
    ..Negative experience tended to be interpreted as a sign of prejudice on the part of the healthcare professional. The findings of this study are discussed in the wider context of research into patient priorities in general practice. ..
  50. Oeye C, Bjelland A, Skorpen A. Doing participant observation in a psychiatric hospital-- research ethics resumed. Soc Sci Med. 2007;65:2296-306 pubmed
    ..The article suggests the need for reformulation of research guidelines for participant observation in medical settings. ..
  51. Ehsanzadeh Cheemeh P, Sadeque A, Grimes R, Essien E. Sociocultural dimensions of HIV/AIDS among Middle Eastern immigrants in the US: bridging culture with HIV/AIDS programmes. Perspect Public Health. 2009;129:228-33 pubmed
    ..This article aims to present sociocultural factors of HIV risk behaviours that are specific to Middle Eastern culture. The article also provides recommendations for HIV/AIDS-culturally appropriate intervention programmes. ..
  52. Tausig M, Selgelid M, Subedi S, Subedi J. Taking sociology seriously: a new approach to the bioethical problems of infectious disease. Sociol Health Illn. 2006;28:838-49 pubmed
  53. Rasmussen K, Bratlid D. Quality or equality? The Norwegian experience with medical monopolies. BMC Health Serv Res. 2007;7:20 pubmed
    ..Monopolies may serve as a useful means for maintaining quality in highly specialized medical services, but seem to have an inherent tendency to do this at the expense of geographical equality. ..