American Sociological Association

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  1. Newcomers and Old Timers: An Erroneous Assumption in Mental Health Services Research

    Based on the premise that treatment changes people in ways that are consequential for subsequent treatment-seeking, we question the validity of an unrecognized and apparently inadvertent assumption in mental health services research conducted within a psychiatric epidemiology paradigm. This homogeneity assumption statistically constrains the effects of potential determinants of recent treatment to be identical for former patients and previously untreated persons by omitting treatment history or modeling only main effects.
  2. The Intergenerational Transmission of Discrimination: Children’s Experiences of Unfair Treatment and Their Mothers’ Health at Midlife

    A growing body of research suggests that maternal exposure to discrimination helps to explain racial disparities in children’s health. However, no study has considered if the intergenerational health effects of unfair treatment operate in the opposite direction—from child to mother. To this end, we use data from mother–child pairs in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 to determine whether adolescent and young adult children’s experiences of discrimination influence their mother’s health across midlife.
  3. Lay Pharmacovigilance and the Dramatization of Risk: Fluoroquinolone Harm on YouTube

    Sociologists have documented how the pharmaceutical industry has corrupted pharmacovigilance (PV), defined as the practices devoted to detecting and preventing adverse drug reactions (ADRs). In this article, I juxtapose the official postmarketing system of PV with firsthand accounts of ADRs as found in 60 YouTube vlogs created by 29 individuals who recount debilitating reactions to fluoroquinolones, a common class of antibiotics. Whereas official PV is said to contribute the banalization of risk, these vlogs exemplify the dramatization of risk. I consider the vlogs as instances of lay PV.
  4. Organizational Construction and Interdisciplinary Identity in a New Health Care Organization

    The authors examine the organizational construction of an interdisciplinary brain care center via ethnographic observation of vision and mission-building meetings and semistructured interviews with organizational leaders.

  5. Abandoning Medical Authority: When Medical Professionals Confront Stigmatized Adolescent Sex and the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine

    Despite authority’s centrality to the medical profession, providers routinely forgo their medical authority during clinical encounters. Research focuses on patients challenging medical authority but indicates these confrontations are uncommon and providers seldom relinquish their authority in response. Using rare data of 75 audio recordings of adolescent vaccine discussions during clinical encounters and interviews with and observations of medical staff, I examine how staff leverage or abandon their medical authority to convince parents to vaccinate.

  6. Patients’ Conceptualizations of Responsibility for Healthcare: A Typology for Understanding Differing Attributions in the Context of Patient Safety

    This study examines how patients conceptualize “responsibility” for their healthcare and make sense of the complex boundaries between patient and professional roles. Focusing on the specific case of patient safety, narrative methods were used to analyze semistructured interviews with 28 people recently discharged from hospital in England. We present a typology of attribution, which demonstrates that patients’ attributions of responsibility to staff and/or to patients are informed by two dimensions of responsibility: basis and contingency.

  7. The Effect of Segregated Cities on Ethnoracial Minority Healthcare System Distrust

    Distrust of the health system is a longstanding issue for ethnoracial minorities, especially for Blacks. Not well understood, however, is the role that ethnoracial segregation within a city plays in this distrust. While segregation is typically associated with neighborhood ills, there is evidence that it can also moderate distrust. This study draws on the 2008 wave of the Public Health Management Corporation's Southeastern Pennsylvania Household Health Survey and the 2005–2009 American Community Survey to explore the possibility that segregation affects healthcare system distrust.

  8. Agency and Change in Healthcare Organizations: Workers’ Attempts to Navigate Multiple Logics in Hospice Care

    There is no doubt that the organization of healthcare is currently shifting, partly in response to changing macrolevel policies. Studies of healthcare policies often do not consider healthcare workers’ experiences of policy change, thus limiting our understanding of when and how policies work. This article uses longitudinal qualitative data, including participant observation and semistructured interviews with workers within hospice care as their organizations shifted in response to a Medicare policy change.
  9. Agency and Change in Healthcare Organizations: Workers’ Attempts to Navigate Multiple Logics in Hospice Care

    How do major healthcare policy changes affect the delivery of care? Healthcare policy changes often have unintended consequences that affect workers’ practices and patient experiences. Medicare, which pays for the vast majority of hospice end-of-life care, recently changed a policy to curb long hospice stays. Starting in 2011, all patients who were enrolled in hospice for 180 days or more were required to have a face-to-face visit with a physician or qualified nurse practitioner.
  10. Like a Fish out of Water: Managing Chronic Pain in the Urban Safety Net

    The subjective nature of pain has always rendered it a point of entry for power and corresponding stratifying processes within biomedicine. The opioid crisis has further exacerbated these challenges by increasing the stakes of prescribing decisions for providers, which in turn has resulted in greater treatment disparities.