Help me find a scholarly book about Women and their experiences with the current Healthcare System?
November 22, 2012 12:45 PM   Subscribe

Help me find a more recent book about issues surrounding women and the healthcare field, and issues surounding the field in general in terms of the attitude that medical professionals are almost superhuman, and the authoritarian attitude of doctors.

I'm currently reading 'vaginal politics' by Ellen Frankfort. It explores the relationship between women and the healthcare field. The book is fantastic. Unfortunately it was written in 1972. Some of the more terrifying aspects of the female experience are, thankfully, much improved. However, I am amazed by how much of me experiences are still so similar to so long ago. I feel like women (and patients in general) are often treated as objects vs agents, subordinates instead of equals, children instead of adults. I'm looking for a scholarly book written more recently that critiques the health system, particularly from the experience of women. I'm not looking for books that suggest natropathy or alternative medicines, just a critique of the authoritarian style of the health system, and women's experience. Bonus if it deals with TGBLQ issues, though I would rather it not be the main focus.
posted by pandorasbox to Education (5 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
What specific part of women's experiences are you interested in? There is definitely a lot of up-to-the-minute writing of this type specifically dealing with childbirth. I would recommend Sheila Kitzinger as the best person to look up for scholarly writing in this field.

An additional specific book you might be interested in: is an anthology of experiences with the medical establishment making decisions about disability and pregnancy in an authoritarian way.
posted by snorkmaiden at 1:50 PM on November 22, 2012

Really interesting topic. Some ideas:

Witches, Midwives and Nurses, A Woman in Residence, Male Practice, Expecting Trouble.

Afraid these are fairly old - I haven't done much reading on this recently - but as a nurse I can tell you the issues are pretty much the same.
posted by latkes at 2:17 PM on November 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

Our Bodies Ourselves goes into this a bit. Excerpts and some additional web links here and here.

I've been to a talk or two on this general subject area, but I don't remember specific names to suggest. The talks I've been to have all been sociology talks, however. I know that the blog Sociological Images has posts on women's experiences with the US healthcare system -- there is a "Posts By Topic" search feature on the top right hand side of the main page there, which includes several categories that could be related. A google search on "sociological studies of women's experience with healthcare system" turns up some links that might be helpful? Maybe add "US" in there to narrow it down if you are only interested in US links.

The National Women's Health Network might have links to some scholarly resources as well?
posted by eviemath at 7:34 PM on November 22, 2012

Medicine as Culture: Illness, Disease and The Body
by Deborah Lupton (3rd revised ed.). It looks like it would match your interests very well (there is a chapter on Feminisms and Medicine). You can read excerpts from that chapter and others on Google Books.

This book's a little older but still relevant: Gender and the Social Construction of Illness by Judith Lorber and Lisa Jean Moore (2nd ed.).

You may also have some luck using the following search terms in an academic database:

-medicalization of childbirth
-medicalization of women's bodies
-gender bias in medical research
-gender bias in medicine
-gender bias in healthcare
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 11:12 PM on November 22, 2012

I'd reccommend Henci Goer as far as medicalisation of childbirth is concerned. Her book a Thinking womans guide to a better birth helped me see things quite differently.
posted by RandomInconsistencies at 9:03 AM on November 23, 2012

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