Political Sociology and the People's Health

ISBN : 9780190492472

Jason Beckfield; Nancy Krieger
224 Pages
127 x 178 mm
Pub date
Sep 2018
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A social epidemiologist looks at health inequalities in terms of the upstream factors that produced them. A political sociologist sees these same inequalities as products of institutions that unequally allocate power and social goods. Neither is wrong — but can the two talk to one another?

In a stirring new synthesis, Political Sociology and the People's Health advances the debate over social inequalities in health by offering a new set of provocative hypotheses around how health is distributed in and across populations. It joins political sociology's macroscopic insights into social policy, labor markets, and the racialized and gendered state with social epidemiology's conceptualizations and measurements of populations, etiologic periods, and distributions.

The result is a major leap forward in how we understand the relationships between institutions and inequalities — and essential reading for those in public health, sociology, and beyond.


Foreword: For the People's Health - Why this Book Series of Small Books with Big Ideas?
Nancy Krieger
Introduction: Political Sociology & Social Epidemiology
1. Key Concepts, Measures, & Data
2. New Questions & Answers about Embodied Social Inequalities
3. Scientific Challenges to Engaging Political Sociology & Social Epidemiology

About the author: 

Jason Beckfield is Professor and Chair of Sociology and Associate Director of the Center for Population and Development Studies at Harvard University. He conducts inter-disciplinary research on how institutional arrangements -- the rules of the game that organize power in social life -- structure inequality, including the global distribution of population health. His work has been supported by the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Harvard Medical School, and the American Sociological Association. He is also grateful to the taxpayers of the great states of Missouri and Indiana, who supported his training in the form of generous scholarships and fellowships.

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