Illness Behaviour — A Political Analysis

  • Irving Zola


This chapter examines the nature of medicine and the political context of the terms “health” and “illness”. More specifically, issues of power will be addressed. Power will be illustrated on the macro level by the phenomenon of medicalization and on the micro by the encounter between health-care provider and patient.


Social Control Primary Breast Cancer Medical Encounter Illness Behaviour Political Analysis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Boston Women’s Health Book Collective. (1984). The new our bodies, ourselves. New York: Simon & Schuster.Google Scholar
  2. Brown, R. (1979). Rockefeller medicine men: Medicine and capitalism in America. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  3. Conrad, P. (in press). The experience of illness: Recent and new directions. In J. A. Roth & P. Conrad (Eds.), Research in the sociology of health care Vol. 6. The experience and management of chronic illness. Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.Google Scholar
  4. Conrad, P. & Schneider, J. W. (1980). Deviance and medicalization: From badness to sickness. St. Louis, MO: C. V. Mosby.Google Scholar
  5. Crawford, R. (1977). You are dangerous to your health: The ideology of victim blaming. International Journal of Health Services, 7 ,663–680.Google Scholar
  6. Crawford, R. (1979). Individual responsibility and health politics. In S. Reverby & D. Rosner (Eds.), Health care in America: Essays in social history. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Crawford, R. (1980). Healthism and the medicalization of everyday life. International Journal of Health Services, 10, 365–388.Google Scholar
  8. DePaulo, B. M., Nadler, A., & Fisher, J. (Eds.). (1983). Help-Seeking, Vol. 2 of New Directions in Helping. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  9. Dubos, R. (1961). The mirage of health. Garden City, NY: Anchor.Google Scholar
  10. Dubos, R. (1965). Man adapting. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Dunnell, K., & Cartwright, A. (1972). Medicine takers, prescribers and hoarders. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
  12. Emerson, R. M., & Messinger, S. L. (1977). The micro-politics of trouble. Social Problems, 25, 121–134.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Freidson, E. (1970a). Profession of medicine. New York: Dodd-Mead.Google Scholar
  14. Freidson, E. (1970b). Professional dominance: The social structure of medical care. New York: Atherton.Google Scholar
  15. Freidson, E. (1976). Doctoring together: A study of professional social control. New York: Elsevier.Google Scholar
  16. Gibson, C. D., & Kramer, B. M. (1985). Site of care in medical practice. Medical Care, 3, 14–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Goffman, E. (1961). Asylums. New York: Anchor.Google Scholar
  18. Henderson, L. J. (1985). Physician and patient as a social system. New England Journal of Medicine, 212, 819–823.Google Scholar
  19. Kahne, M. J., & Schwartz, C. G. (1978). Negotiating trouble: The social construction and management of trouble in a college psychiatric context. Social Problems, 25, 461–475.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Kushner, R. (1980). The treatment of primary breast cancer: A patient’s viewpoint. Connecticut Medicine, 4, 437–440.Google Scholar
  21. Levin, L., & Idler, E. (1983). Self-care in health. Annual Review of Public Health, 4, 181–201. National Cancer Institute. (1979). The treatment of primary breast cancer: Management of local disease. National Institute of Health Consensus Development Conference Summary (Vol. 2, No. 5).Google Scholar
  22. Rieff, P. (1968). Triumph of the therapeutic: Uses of faith after Freud. New York: Torchbook, Harper-Row.Google Scholar
  23. Starr, P. (1982). The social transformation of American medicine. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  24. Stevens, R. (1971). American medicine and the public interest. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  25. Treatment of primary breast cancer --Special Report. (1979). New England Journal of Medicine, 301, 340.Google Scholar
  26. Zola, I. K. (1972a). Medicine as an institution of social control. Sociological Review, 20, 487–504.Google Scholar
  27. Zola, I. K. (1972b). The concept of trouble and sources of medical assistance -word>to whom one can turn, with what, and why. Social Science and Medicine, 6, 673–679.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Zola, I. K. (1973). Pathways to the doctor -word>from person to patient. Social Science and Medicine, 7, 677–689.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Zola, I. K. (1975). In the name of health and illness: On some sociopolitical consequences of medical influence. Social Science and Medicine, 9, 83–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Zola, I. K. (1981). Structural constraints in the doctor-patient relationship: The case for non-compliance. In L. Eisenberg, & A. Kleinman (Eds.), The relevance of social science for medicine (pp. 241–252). Dordrecht, Holland: Reidel.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Zola, I. K. (1983). Socio-medical inquiries: Recollections, reflections and reconsiderations. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Irving Zola
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SociologyBrandeis UniversityUSA

Personalised recommendations