The Division of Health, Health Policy, and Health Services is dedicated to the critical study of all aspects of health and health care delivery in the 21st century. Our concerns include but are not limited to:

1. The study of the social sources of disease and disability. 

2. The study of the development and delivery of health-related care at the interactional as well as the institutional level. 

3. The study of social definitions of health and illness, both within and outside the health professions. 

4. The study of disparities in health and health care through the lens of a broad range of social dimensions.

5. The study of the experiences of health, illness, and disability from the perspectives of lay people (including patients) and community-based groups (including those committed to social justice in health care.)  

6. The comparative study of health care delivery systems and health care policies.  

7. The complexities arising from the interdependence of technological change, other social institutions, the environment, and health.

The Division of Health, Health Policy, and Health Services includes scholars and activists with diverse points of view. Recognizing the essential link between inequalities structured around race, class, gender, age, sexual orientation, and health, many members of the Division view social justice and justice in health as inseparable, with disparities in health firmly grounded in the socially structured inequalities that shape access to the resources necessary to maintain health. Justice in health, therefore, requires addressing underlying social and economic injustices. For many Division members, a just world in relation to health issues would regard the preservation and restoration of health as a basic human right. Justice in health would mean that all people would have adequate resources for preserving health and adequate access to health care regardless of gender, race, class, age, sexual orientation, disability or region. Justice in health would also mean that all people would have access to the informal and material resources that would enable them to maximize their control over all decisions that directly and indirectly affect their health. 

Division mission statement reviewed in November 2023 by Virginia Berndt, Texas A&M International University, Health, Health Policy, and Health Services Division Co-Chair 2023-2025, and Yuying Shen, Norfolk State University, Health, Health Policy, and Health Services Division Co-Chair, 2022-2024Division mission statement edited in November 2022 by Jennifer Roebuck Bulanda, Miami University, Health, Health Policy, and Health Services Division Co-Chair, 2021-2023 and Yuying Shen, Norfolk State University, Health, Health Policy, and Health Services Division Co-Chair, 2022-2024.

Some Readings:

Abraham, Laurie Kaye. Mama Might Be Better Off Dead: The Failure of Health Care in America. Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1993.

Anspach, Renee. Deciding Who Lives: Fateful Choices in the Intensive Care Nursery. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993.

Berkman, Lisa and Kawachi, Ichiro (eds), Social Epidemiology. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.

Bird, Chloe E, Peter Conrad, Allen M. Fremont, and Stefan Timmermans (eds). Handbook of Medical Sociology, Sixth Edition.  Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press, 2010.

Brown, Phil (ed.) Perspectives in Medical Sociology, 2nd Edition. Prospect Heights, IL: Waveland, 1996

Brown Phil, Rachel Morello-Frosch, Stephen Zavestoski, and the Contested Illnesses Research Group. Contested Illnesses: Citizens, Science, and Health Social Movements. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2012.

Budrys, Grace. Our Unsystematic Health Care System.  Lanham, MA: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2011.

Charmaz, Kathy. Good Days, Bad Days: The Self in Chronic Illness and Time. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1991.

Cockerham, William C.  Social Causes of Health and Disease.  Cambridge:,Polity Press, 2012.

Conrad, Peter. The Medicalization of Society: On the Transformation of Human Conditions into Treatable Disorders. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007.

Conrad, Peter (ed). The Sociology of Health and Illness: Critical Perspectives, 7th Ed. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2005.

Conrad, Peter and Joseph Schneider. Deviance and Medicalization: From Badness to Sickness. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1992.

Dubos, Rene. Mirage of Health. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1959.

Epstein, Steven.  Inclusion: The Politics of Difference in Medical Research. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2009.

Farmer, Paul. Pathologies of Power: Health, Human Rights and the New War on the Poor. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003.

Fiedson, Eliot. Profession of Medicine: A Study of the Sociology of applied Knowledge. New York: Dodd, Mead, 1970.

Freudenberg, Nicholas, Galea, Sandro, Vlahov, David. Cities and the Health of the Public. Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt University Press, 2006.

Fullilove, Mindy. Root Shock: How Tearing Up Urban Neighborhoods Hurts America and What We Can Do About It. New York: Random House Publishing Group, 2005.

Horwitz, Allan and Wakefield, J. The Loss of Sadness: How Psychiatry Transformed Normal Sorrow into Depressive Disorder. New York: Oxford University Press, 2007.

Illich, Ivan. Medical Nemesis: The Expropriation of Health. New York: Pantheon Books, 1976.

Joyce, Kelly A.  Magnetic Appeal: MRI and the Myth of Transparency.  Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2008.

Klinenberg, Kevin. Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2002.

LaViest, Thomas. Minority Populations and Health: An Introduction to Health Disparities in the United States. San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass Publishers, 2005.

LaViest, Thomas (ed). Race, Ethnicity and Health: A Public Health Reader. San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass Publishers, 2002.

Lee, Philip R. and Carroll L. Estes. The Nations Health, 7th edition. NY: Jones and Bartlett, 2003.

Marmot, Michael and Richard G. Wilkinson (eds) Social Determinants of Health Second Edition.  New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.

Martin, Emily. Bipolar Expeditions: Mania and Depression in American Culture. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2007.

Martin, Emily. The Woman in the Body. Boston: Beacon Press, 1992.

Mechanic, David. The Truth About Health Care: Why Reform is Not Working in America. Rutgers University Press, 2006.

Metzl, Jonathan. Prozac on the Couch: Prescribing Gender in the Era of Wonder Drugs. Duke University Press, 2003.

Mischler, Elliot. The Discourse of Medicine. Norwood, NJ: Ablex, 1984.

Quadagno, Jill. One Nation Uninsured: Why the United States Has no National Health Insurance. 2005.

Schulz, AJ and Mullings L. Gender, Race, Class and Health: Intersectional Approaches. San Fancisco, CA: Jossey Bass Publishers, 2006.

Shapiro, Joseph. No Pity: People With Disabilities Forging A New Civil Rights Movement. New York: Times Books, 1993.

Starr, Paul. The Social Transformation of American Medicine. New York: Basic Books, 1982.

Waitzkin, Howard.  Medicine and Public Health at the End of Empire.  Boulder, CO: Paradigm Publishers, 2011.

Weitz, Rose. The Sociology of Health, Illness and Health Care: A Critical Approach. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 1996.

Zola, Irving Kenneth. Missing Pieces: A Chronicle of Living With a Disability. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1982.