"Social Movements and the Transformation of American Health Care succeeds wonderfully in the editors' objective to bridge the divide between scholarship in the field of social movements and that of health care. As issues relating to health become ever more central in American politics and culture, the essays in this volume offer unusually valuable insights into this crucial and contested terrain."---Carole Joffe, author of Dispatches from the Abortion Wars
Few contemporary social problems in the U.S. affect more people daily than those within its health care system. Social Movements and the Transformation of American Health Care is the first collection of essays to examine the dynamics of change in health care institutions through the lens of contemporary theory and research on collective action. Gathering scholars from medicine, health policy, history, sociology, and political science, the book considers health-related movements from four distinct levels: changes in our system of health regulation and financing and in the distribution of health resources; changes in institutions in public health, bioethics, and other fields; interactions between social movements and professions; and the cultural dominance of the medical model as well as difficulties in framing and legitimizing new issues in health care. At a time when American health care is long overdue for major changes, this book takes an essential look at movements, policies, and institutions to identify the common constraints and opportunities for reform within the health care system.