[Skip to Content]
Access to paid content on this site is currently suspended due to excessive activity being detected from your IP address Please contact the publisher to request reinstatement.
[Skip to Content Landing]
February 24, 1989

Essays in Medical Sociology: Journeys Into the Field

Author Affiliations

University of Southern California Gerontology Research Institute Los Angeles

University of Southern California Gerontology Research Institute Los Angeles


by Renee C. Fox, 711 pp, $39.95, paper $19.95, New Brunswick, NJ, Transaction Books, 1988.

JAMA. 1989;261(8):1209. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03420080133047

Although the title of this collection of papers suggests an audience of sociologists and anthropologists, the penetrating depth of the essays, on a variety of remarkable medical issues, also will benefit physicians, nurses, social workers, clergy, and medical educators, researchers, and students. In fact, Fox makes great efforts not to overlook an understanding of the biologic aspects of medicine, thus avoiding the common assumption that they fall outside the bounds of sociologically relevant considerations.

The book serves as an impressive biography of Fox, whose sociological contributions span nearly four decades. Fox journeys through medical schools, hospitals, and laboratories, in countries such as the United States, Belgium, Zaire, and the People's Republic of China. Fox illuminates the inner life of the people and societies she observes and the values that underlie their being. The cross-cultural focus allows us more clearly to see the distinctive cultural tradition and the prevalent state of