Taking “The Promise” Seriously: Medical Sociology’s Role in Health, Illness, and Healing in a Time of Social Change

  • Bernice A. Pescosolido
Part of the Handbooks of Sociology and Social Research book series (HSSR)


In 1959, C.W. Mills published his now famous treatise on what sociology uniquely brings to understanding the world and the people in it. Every sociologist, of whatever ilk, has had at least a brush with the “sociological imagination,” and nearly everyone who has taken a sociology course has encountered some version of it. As Mills argued, the link between the individual and society, between personal troubles and social issues, between biography and history, or between individual crises and institutional contradictions represents the core vision of the discipline of sociology. While reminding ourselves of the “promise” may be a bit trite, its mention raises the critical question: Why do we have to continually remind ourselves of the unique contribution that we, as sociologists, bring to understanding health, illness, and healing?


Health Care System Sociological Imagination Health Care Disparity Black Middle Class Medical Sociology 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA

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