Social Medicine and the Coming Transformation  book cover
1st Edition

Social Medicine and the Coming Transformation

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after December 21, 2020
ISBN 9781138685987
December 21, 2020 Forthcoming by Routledge
308 Pages

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Book Description

Social medicine, starting two centuries ago, has shown that social conditions affect health and illness more than biology does, and social change affects the outcomes of health and illness more than health services do. Understanding and exposing sickness-generating structures in society helps us change them.

This first introductory textbook in social medicine provides a critical introduction to this increasingly important field. The authors draw on examples worldwide to show how principles based on solidarity and mutual aid have enabled people to participate collaboratively to construct health-promoting social conditions. The book offers vital information and analysis to enhance our understanding regarding the promotion of health through social and individual means; the micro-politics of medical encounters; the social determination of illness; the influences of racism, class, gender, and ethnicity on health; health and empire; and health praxis, reform, and sociomedical activism.

The book offers compelling ways to understand and to change the social dimensions of health and health care. Students, teachers, practitioners, activists, policy makers, and people concerned about health and health care will value this book, which goes beyond the usual approaches of texts in public health, medical sociology, health economics, and health policy.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Preface, Acknowledgments

  1. What Is Social Medicine?
  2. One and a Half Centuries of Forgetting and Remembering the Social Origins of Illness
  3. The Social Determination of Illness, Part 1: Health and Social Contradictions
  4. The Social Determination of Illness, Part 2: Inequality, Class, Race, Ethnicity, and Gender
  5. Social Medicine in the United States
  6. Health and Empire, Part 1: Empire’s Historical Health Component
  7. Health and Empire, Part 2: Resisting Empire, Building an Alternative Future in Medicine and Public Health
  8. Social Medicine in Latin America
  9. Social Medicine and the Micro-Politics of Medical Encounters
  10. Health Praxis, Reform, and Sociomedical Activism

Appendix: Organizations and Resources in Social Medicine


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Howard Waitzkin is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of New Mexico and practices internal medicine part time in New Mexico and Illinois. For many years he has been active in struggles focusing on social medicine in the United States and Latin America. He is author and coordinator with the Working Group for Health beyond Capitalism of Health Care under the Knife: Moving beyond Capitalism for Our Health (2018), and author of Medicine and Public Health at the End of Empire (2011), among other books.

Alina Pérez is a community-based physician at St. Luke’s Hospital in New Bedford, Massachusetts. A graduate of the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford, she completed her residency at the Beth Israel Deaconess Harvard-Affiliated Medical Center in Boston. She has conducted research on health policy and is pursuing interests in global health and social medicine.

Matthew Anderson is Associate Professor in the Department of Family and Social Medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. As a family physician working in the Bronx, New York, he is a core faculty member of the Montefiore Residency Program in Social Medicine. He is founder and co-editor of the bilingual online journal Social Medicine/Medicina Social.

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