Category: Sociology of Health & Illness

Australian cancer physicians on the use of high cost cancer medicines at the end of life

The use of high cost cancer medicines to treat patients at the end of life (EOL) has become a contentious issue in recent years—due primarily to growing concerns about the safety, efficacy and cost effectiveness of these drugs in this clinical context. Evidence suggests that the use of high cost cancer medicines at the EOL is not cost effective; doesn’t improve overall survival when compared to palliative care; has a significant risk of serious side effects; and may reduce a...

New Editorial Team Introduction: Sociology of Health & Illness

We are really pleased to be taking over the editorship of Sociology of Health and Illness (SHI) and are excited to take the journal forward over the next few years, working closely with the Editorial Board and publishers, Wiley, as well as our authors and reviewers. We thank the previous editorial team at Cardiff University – Ian Rees Jones, Gareth Williams, Davina Allen, Joanna Latimer, David Hughes, Eva Elliot and book review editors Gareth Thomas and Rebecca Dimond and, of...

“Essentially it’s just a lot of bedrooms”: care homes and the conundrums of designing for care

My mum will be 90 next month, she lives in a care home, on the top floor which is a secured space dedicated for people living with dementia. The layout of each of the three floors of the home is the same, the design is economical with individual bedrooms off a corridor, a shared dining space, a communal living room at one end of the corridor and a ‘film’ lounge.  Bedrooms reveal a repeat pattern of en-suite shower and toilet,...

Imagining their Future Selves: Children’s Attitudes to Older People and their Expectations of Life at Age 70

Our recent article ‘Imagining their Future Selves: Children’s Attitudes to Older People and their Expectations of Life at Age 70’ published in the journal Children & Society provided an insight into children’s thoughts about older people, and how they imagine their own lives will be when they are older. So why is this important? Well, we know that the world’s population is ageing.  We also know that there has been scare-mongering about the ‘crisis’ this will cause, especially for the...

Gareth Williams Remembrance

I sit down with a heavy heart and with great sadness to write of the death of my friend Gareth Williams.  I first encountered Gareth when I was cutting my teeth in medical sociology; now a distant memory and long before he was aware of me.  Each year a diverse and ragtag band of medical sociologists would make their way to York for the annual BSA medical sociology conference and Gareth would always be there; sun tanned and relaxed and...

Highlights from the American Sociological Association Conference, ‘Feeling Race’, Philadelphia, 11-14 August 2018

This year’s American Sociological Association (ASA) conference was held in Philadelphia, on the theme ‘Feeling Race’. I attended in my role as Research Editor for the journal Sociology of Health & Illness (SHI), to network with Medical Sociologists and encourage awareness of SHI as a place to publish their work. I was excited to visit this city and had been told to do two things (work activities aside!) whilst I was there: run up the ‘Rocky Steps’ and eat a Philly...

Us too! Why it’s time to give female death by suicide some serious sociological attention!

The #MeToo campaign has had many consequences, one of which is a welcome and long overdue look at the devastating consequences of female sexual assault on the lives of women. One recent study has highlighted the long term consequences of these events on the victims by demonstrating that around 80% of women who are assaulted go on to suffer from mental health problems (see The Guardian). There are many other distressing aspects to the recent revelations but one that I...

Looking after farmers as well as the land: research with farmers in North Yorkshire’s Cornfield Flowers Project

Do farmers derive any personal benefit and well-being from their Agricultural Environmental Schemes (AES) work? Being a volunteer grower and seed guardian for North Yorkshire’s Cornfield Flowers Project (CFP) made me aware of how this project functioned differently from other, mainstream AES. The CFP capitalises upon farmers’ personal interest in arable flowers [1] Participating farmers are not paid for the work, do not sign contracts, and are not obliged to adhere to prescriptive cultivations methods imposed by an external agency. Unlike...

THE NHS: TO PROVIDE ALL PEOPLE

This article by Dr Catherine Will is originally published on the Cost of Living, a site is for all people interested in the politics, economics and sociology of health and health care. The ‘Cost of Living’ aims to provide a vibrant mix of topical comment pieces, analytical features, and contemporary reviews, related to health, medicine and health care. I offer a very contemporary comment this week, having come across this recent BBC programme for the 70th anniversary of the NHS, by...

The Foundation for the Sociology of Health and Illness

Scholars in the field of medical sociology, and various related disciplines including the sociology of healthcare, mental illness and science and technology studies, will no doubt already be aware of the Foundation for the Sociology of Health and Illness. Founded just under 20 years ago, the Foundation owns the rights to the journal Sociology of Health and Illness, published by Wiley, and uses the royalties from this title to support academic work in this field, including research, teaching and wider...

LGBTQ+ Pride Month: Free Content Collection on Mental Health

To celebrate LGBTQ+ Pride month we are delighted to provide free access to articles on the topic of Mental Health in the LGBTQ+ community. During the month of June you can access 40+ free articles across a range of topics to raise awareness and keep the conversation going. You can access the articles via the links below, or from the virtual issue landing page, here. Experiences and unmet needs of lesbian, gay, and bisexual people with cancer care: A systematic...

Sociology of Cancer: A Decade of Research

Our recent review article, which is free to read in the journal Sociology of Health & Illness reviewed sociological research on cancer over the last decade to identify the contribution of sociology to cancer research and care. The largest proportion of articles focused on living with and beyond cancer. This research showed how cancer can be disruptive, prompting changes in people’s sense of who they are.  However, people have a range of experiences which do not fit neatly into common...

The body positivity movement: advancing ‘fat’ activism

Apart from the fight against fat shaming, other approaches to body positivity range from anti-shaving decisions, to unretouched campaigns by which certain media channels reject photoshopped pictures, to accepting body changes during and post-pregnancy, to celebrities’ body positivity advice (Money, 2017). Arguments are made that body image is no longer essential for an individual’s self-definition (Murray, 2007) and yet contradictory comments in body positivity forums show fluctuations between individual options and social pressures. An analytical overview of social media cues...

Employee well-being and versions of corporate-driven orthorexia

Context In 1997, Steven Bratman [2] launched the concept of ‘orthorexia’, derived from the Greek “orthos”, meaning “correct or right” and “orexis”, meaning “hunger or appetite”. He described his own “pathological fixation on eating proper food”; including ritualized eating of vegetables picked no more than 15 minutes before consumption, and chewing each mouthful at least 50 times before swallowing. Following this, social discourse [1, 5, 12] has defined healthy nutrition as eating simply, ‘pure’, ‘clean’, wholesome, non-processed diets; diets which...

Interview with Jon Gabe, Professor of Sociology, Royal Holloway University of London; Chair of Trustees of the Foundation for Sociology of Health & Illness

Jonathan Gabe is Professor of Sociology at Royal Holloway University of London, and the Chair of Trustees of the UK Charity, Foundation for Sociology of Health & Illness. In a recent interview, Jon spoke about his research, as well as the objectives and activities of the Foundation.   The Foundation Objectives The Foundation for the Sociology of Health and Illness was established in December 1999 as a charity with the aim of promoting and improving social scientific research, education and scholarship...

I think I can(‘t), I think I can(‘t): a Mildred Blaxter New Writer’s Prize winner reflects on her identity as a new career researcher

Each year the Editorial Board of Sociology of Health and Illness offers a prize for “the best article published in the journal by an early career researcher”. In September, I received an email announcing that my article Engaging conceptions of identity in a context of medical pluralism: explaining treatment choices for everyday illness in Niger had been selected as the 2017 winner. Honored and surprised to receive this message, I laughed out loud at the absurdity of how drastically my...