Location: Bowdoin / Sociology and Anthropology / Symposia / Symposium / Participants

Sociology and Anthropology


Susan Bell, Bowdoin CollegeSusan Bell, Bowdoin College
Susan E. Bell is A. Myrick Freeman Professor of Social Sciences/Professor of Sociology, and Chair of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Bowdoin College. She has published widely about medicalization, women's health, experiences of illness, and visual and performative representations of cancer, medicine and women's bodies. She is an editorial advisor for Sociology of Health & Illness and a member of the editorial board of health. She is the author of DES Daughters: Embodied Knowledge and the Transformation of Women's Health Politics (Temple, 2009) and the guest editor with Alan Radley of a special issue of health, "Another Way of Knowing: Art, Disease, and Illness Experience," 2011. Recent publications include her studies with Anne Figert about medicalization, pharmaceuticals, and biomedicalization. Currently she is working on an ethnography about the global flow of biomedical knowledge and spatial permeability in interactions between immigrant and refugee patient populations and staff in two US hospital outpatient clinics. Her research for this global hospital ethnography has been supported by the National Science Foundation and the School for Advanced Research, Santa Fe, NM.

Anne FigertAnne Figert, Loyola University, Chicago
Anne E. Figert is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Loyola University Chicago (1991- present).  Her research interests are in the sociology of diagnosis, medicalization, and the construction of expertise and authority.  She is the author of Women and the Ownership of PMS: The Structuring of a Psychiatric Disorder (Aldine de Gruyter, 1996) and the co-editor of two volumes: Building Community: Social Science in Action (Pine Forge Press, 1997) and Current Research on Occupations and Professions, volume 9 (JAI Press, 1996). Recent publications include her work with Susan Bell (Bell & Figert, 2012, 2010; Figert & Bell, forthcoming), “Doing God’s Work and Doing Good Work(s): Unique Challenges to Evaluation Research in Ministry Settings” in Public Sociology, P. Nyden, G. Nyden and G. Hossfield (eds.) (2011) Pine Forge Press, “The Consumer Turn in Medicalization: Future Directions with Historical Foundations” in The Handbook of the Sociology of Health, Illness and Healing, B, Pescosolido, J.Martin, J. McLeod and A. Rogers (eds.) (2011), Springer Publishing  and “White Coats: The Shape of Scientific Authority and its Relationship to Religion and Religious Authority” in P.Jung and A. Vigen (eds.) Christianity, Gender, and Human Sexuality,(2011) University of Illinois Press. She is the chair-elect of the Medical Sociology section of the American Sociological Association.

Janet Shim, University of California, San Francisco Janet Shim, University of California, San Francisco 
Janet K. Shim is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of California, San Francisco. Her current research projects examine the conceptions of race, ethnicity, and ancestry in gene-environment interaction research on complex diseases; the role of cultural health capital in producing inequalities in health care; and the experiences of research participants who receive genetic ancestry estimates as part of an ongoing medical study.  Her articles have appeared in such journals as American Sociological Review, Journal of Health and Social Behavior, Social Science and Medicine, and Sociology of Health and Illness. Her book, Heart-Sick: The Politics of Risk, Inequality, and Heart Disease, will be published in 2014 by New York University Press.

Ellen Annandale, University of YorkEllen Annandale, University of York
My research focuses on the sociology of health and healthcare and the sociology of gender. Between 2004 and 2012, I was Editor-in-chief of the journal Social Science & Medicine. Current professional activities include membership of the Executive Committee of the European Sociological Association (ESA), Vice-chair of ESA Research Network 16 (Sociology of Health and Illness) and co-editor (with Maria Carmella Agodi) of the ESA Book Series.

Rebecca Herzig, Bates CollegeRebecca Herzig, Bates College
Rebecca Herzig is the Christian A. Johnson Chair of Interdisciplinary Studies and Professor of Women and Gender Studies at Bates College.  Her teaching, research, and activist work all seek to engage broad public audiences in reflection on the social dimensions of science, technology, and medicine.  Among her recent publications are a special issue of the Lancet on “Medicalisation in the 21st century,” co-edited with Jonathan Metzl, and The Nature of Difference: Sciences of Race in the United States from Jefferson to Genomics (2009), co-edited with Evelynn Hammonds.  Her latest book, Plucked, is currently under review.  She has served on the executive councils of the Society for the Social Studies of Science, the Society for the History of Technology, and the International Committee for the History of Technology, among other professional and community boards. 

Jeremy Greene, Johns Hopkins UniversityJeremy Greene, Johns Hopkins University
I am broadly interested in the history of therapeutics—especially pharmaceuticals—and my research explores the ways in which our cures and remedies come to influence our understandings of what it means to be sick or healthy, normal or abnormal.

I am currently working on a history of generic drugs.  Generic drugs are never fully identical to the brand name products they imitate.  Rather, their claims to being ‘the same’ lies in proof that they are similar enough in ways that matter to be functionally interchangeable. As the market for generic substitutes has grown--from only 10% of the American pharmaceutical market in 1960 to nearly 80% by 2010--so too have epistemological and epidemiological conflicts over how one can prove that generics are truly equivalent to their brand-name counterparts.   These conflicts over generic drugs reveal fundamental conflicts over what it means to practice rational medicine, and what role consumers, physicians, insurers, and others should have in defining that rationality.

My broader research interests focus on the history of disease, the history of global health, and the relationship between medicine and the marketplace. I received my MD and PhD in the history of science from Harvard in 2005, completed a residency in Internal Medicine at the Brigham & Women’s Hospital in 2008, and am board certified in Internal Medicine and a member of the American College of Physicians. In addition to my appointment at the Institute for the History of Medicine, I also practice internal medicine at the East Baltimore Medical Center with admitting privileges to the Johns Hopkins University Hospital.

Jonathan Gabe, Royal Holloway, University of LondonJonathan GabeRoyal Holloway, University of London
Jonathan Gabe is Professor of Sociology in the Centre for Criminology and Sociology, Royal Holloway, University of London, UK. He has research interests in pharmaceuticals, health care organization, and chronic illness and has published widely in these areas. He is currently principle investigator on a study of sleep and wakefulness promoting medicines funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council. His most recent publications are Key Concepts in Medical Sociology, Second Edition, Sage Publications, 2013 (co-edited with Lee Monaghan), The New Sociology of the Health Service, Routledge, 2009 (co-edited with Michael Calnan) and Pharmaceuticals and Society, Wiley Blackwell, 2009 (co-edited with Simon Williams and Peter Davis). Between 2006 and 2012 he was co-editor of the journal Sociology of Health and Illness. He is currently President of International Sociological Association RC15 Sociology of Health.

Matthew Archibald, Colby College
Matthew Archibald
, Colby College

Matthew Archibald is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Colby College. He was awarded a PhD from the University of Washington. He has expertise in the areas of medical sociology, organizations, social movements and sociological methods. Professor Archibald studies healthcare delivery systems. Using the conceptual frameworks of medical and organizational sociology as well as insights from collective behavior/social movements, his empirical focus was originally the self-help movement. He currently studies behavioral health care. His research delves into social processes underlying these phenomena such as inequality, legitimation, competition, and cooperation. He is the author of The Evolution of Self-Help (Palgrave, 2007). His work has appeared in Research in the Sociology of Health Care, Journal of Behavioral Health Services and Research, and Social Science & Medicine.

Sara Shostak, Brandeis UniversitySara Shostak, Brandeis University
Sara Shostak is Associate Professor of Sociology, at Brandeis University, where she directs the Health: Science, Society, and Policy Program.  Her research and teaching interests include the sociology of health and illness, science and technology studies, and environmental sociology.  Across these domains, she focuses on how to understand - and address - inequalities in health.  Shostak is the author of Exposed Science: Genes, the Environment, and the Politics of Population Health which was published this year by the University of California Press. She served as an associate editor of a special issue of the American Journal of Sociology focused on how sociologists can use genetic information as a lever to illuminate dimensions of social organization and complex social processes, thereby advancing sociological theory and research methods. She recently has begun an ethnographic project focused on urban agriculture in New England cities.  Her research and teaching have been supported by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the ASA Teaching Enhancement Fund, the Epilepsy Foundation, and the University of California Toxic Substances Research and Teaching Program, among others.

Catherine Bliss, University of California, San FranciscoCatherine Bliss, University of California, San Francisco
Catherine Bliss is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of California San Francisco. Her research explores the sociology of race, gender and sexuality in medicine, though she is especially interested in scientific controversies in genetics. Bliss's book Race Decoded: The Genomic Fight for Social Justice (Stanford University Press 2012) examines how genomics became today’s newest science of race. Her latest research examines convergences in social and genetic science in the postgenomic age.

David Hecht, Bowdoin CollegeDavid Hecht, Bowdoin College
Currently, I am working on the history of images of scientists in the United States during the 20th century. This project examines the public personae of scientists - including Albert Einstein, Robert Oppenheimer, Rachel Carson, and Linus Pauling - who have become icons to large numbers of Americans; it aims to examine what these images tell us about how this country has conceived of science over the past 100 years. I have also worked on an intellectual history of the non-scientific work of Cold War physicists, exploring their notions of science as a value system and considering the ways in which such values variously mesh and conflict with democratic tradition. My scholarship also examines American culture in ways not connected to the history of science. I am currently researching the role of humor in post-Vietnam American politics, examining the ways in which cartoons (and controversy over them) both reflect and shape political discourse.