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I'm Sick of It:
The Sociology of Health, Illness and Treatment
Lynn Appleton

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: At the heart of sociology is the art of making the invisible visible: it is easier to challenge, manage or change what can be seen than what is obscured. Consider how the current debate about “health care” focuses on how to pay for the treatment of illnesses. The debate overlooks a set of issues that are as important and may be more intractable, such as the nature of health, the quality and cost of treatment, and our experience of medical care. These lectures will explore often-invisible issues in "health care," putting them in the context of the sweeping social and cultural changes of the past century. Attendees will develop a new understanding of the often-frustrating, sometimes deadly, frequently futile ritual of “going to the doctor.” While embracing medical research and respecting medical expertise, this series will draw on what sociologists of medicine – as well as activist physicians and nurses – have found in their research and are proposing as new ways of seeing and doing medicine. This series is designed for those who want to think more broadly and clearly about health, the limits of the body,  and illness and treatment as social problems and deeply personal sets of challenges. 

1. The Rise of Chronic Illness: The difference between “being sick” and “living ill.” Misinterpreting the medical breakthroughs of the mid-20th century. Assumptions about getting healthier and living longer.
2. Death is the New Sex: Parents and children having "The Talk." How death changed in the 20th century, and became an issue for the 21st.
3. Fat is the New Smoking: How health became the property of the privileged. 
4. Too Much/Too Little: Treatment and testing, prevention and care. How the paradoxes of the medical system produce scared and angry people. “White coat syndrome” for doctors and patients.
5. Doctors and Nurses, Specialists and Generalists: How the 19th century defines and limits 21st century medical practice. Explaining the profound gaps in medical care.
6. Medical Encounters: Studying interactions between patients and healthcare workers. Professional aspirations, everyday frustrations. Why nobody listens to you.
7. Medical Error: What Three Mile Island can teach us about medical mistakes. “Normal accidents” and the contradictions of trusting experts and technology. The modern quest for control.
8. Buying Treatment for an Illness: The role of the marketplace, the professions, and the government in shaping the purchase. Current policy debates.
BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION:  Dr. Lynn Appleton (PhD University of Chicago) is Professor Emerita in the Department of Sociology  at Florida Atlantic University (FAU). Her research has been in a diverse range of fields but has always focused on questions of power. Currently, she is working on questions of medicalization and social control.

Time: 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm
Date: Thursdays, January 11, 18, 25; February 1, 8, 15, 22; March 1
Location: Barry and Florence Friedberg Auditorium, Boca Raton Campus
Fees: Member - $100
Non-member - $130
Cash will no longer be accepted as payment for lectures.

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