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Sociology of Diagnosis

ISBN: 978-0-85724-575-5, eISBN: 978-0-85724-576-2

Publication date: 3 August 2011


The chapters PJ McGann and David J. Hutson have assembled for this volume are not only timely, coinciding with the appearance of DSM-V, but mark a defining moment in which a new subfield of medical sociology has emerged. Diagnosis, which refers both to diagnostic categories and the process of creating and applying them, is a central feature (Blaxter, 1978) – if not the central feature of medical work. Annemarie Jutel, who has done much to build the sociology of diagnosis, has described the wide array of “work” diagnosis performs in the medical world:Diagnosis is integral to medicine and the way it creates social order. It organizes illness: identifying treatment options, predicting outcomes, and providing an explanatory framework. Diagnosis also serves an administrative purpose as it enables access to services and status, from insurance reimbursement to restricted-access medication, sick leave and support group membership and so on… (Jutel, 2009, p. 278)


Anspach, R.R. (2011), "Preface", McGann, P. and Hutson, D.J. (Ed.) Sociology of Diagnosis (Advances in Medical Sociology, Vol. 12), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. xiii-xxvii.



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