Dictionary of Medical Sociology

Dictionary of Medical Sociology

Dictionary of Medical Sociology

Dictionary of Medical Sociology

Synopsis

As a sociological specialty, medical sociology has a distinct history and literature spanning over four decades. This literature is a synthesis of medical and sociological knowledge reflecting the relationships among medicine, health, and society. This information is of interest not only to medical sociologists, but also to physicians, nurses, psychologists, social workers, health economists, hospital administrators, and health insurers. This reference book is a guide to the sociological terminology that these health professionals are likely to encounter. The volume includes concise, alphabetically arranged entries for numerous terms. For all but the most basic terms, entries briefly discuss the theoretical and practical significance of the topics. Entries cite relevant literature, and the volume concludes with a bibliography of works cited.

Excerpt

As a scientific discipline or specialty develops an identity, consensus typically emerges as to which concepts are central to the field, as well as precise definitions of those concepts. In the discipline of medical sociology, and the broader area of the sociology of health and illness, a dictionary of terminology is long overdue. As a sociological specialty, medical sociology has a distinct history and literature spanning over four decades. This literature is a synthesis of medical and sociological knowledge reflecting analysis of the relationship between medicine, health, and society. Besides medical sociologists, physicians, nurses, psychologists, social workers, therapists, hospital administrators, health insurance companies, health economists, and others rely on the basic insights of sociology in research, patient care, and job performance.

This dictionary should help not only scholars and students of medical sociology but also practitioners and researchers in related fields who encounter sociological terminology and require definitions. Where terms are used in more than one way, we provide multiple definitions or seek a consensus definition for the field. For all but the most standard entries, we supply a brief discussion of the theoretical and practical contributions of the term and describe the contexts to which it applies. For appropriate entries, we provide cross-references to related terms to assist the reader . . .

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