Clark, Juanne N.
November 1984
Humanity & Society;Nov84, Vol. 8 Issue 4, p422
Academic Journal
The article presents feminist perspective on sociology of medicine. Its purpose is to clarify the multi-paradigmatic nature of sociology of medicine and to discuss strengths and weaknesses of each paradigm. The paper discusses the intersection of two sets of interests. Firstly, in what ways women and men and health and illness intersect. Secondly, it argues that sociology must acknowledge its divergent roots. A multi-paradigmatic sociology must include considerations of theoretical and methodological issues which have been raised by feminist sociologists. Women are the major producers and the major consumers of health care. Their position in the health care system mirrors their position in society. When women are subjects of investigation, it is most often as patients rather than as doctor or nurses. They are powerless, the deprived. A sociology of medicine that begins by noting, describing, analysing and questioning the existing structures which perpetuate this sexism and acknowledging the importance of women's experience will go a long way in correcting it. Observing, describing, analysing and challenging the taken-for-granted structure will lead to the improvement of existing conditions for women both in the world and in the substantive discipline of sociology of medicine.


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