Chronic Health Conditions and Bodies: Methods, Meanings, and Medicine

A special issue of Social Sciences (ISSN 2076-0760).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2024) | Viewed by 3070

Special Issue Editors


E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Sociology, San Jose State University, San José, CA 95192, USA
Interests: body and embodiment; medical sociology; qualitative methods

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Sociology & Anthropology, Farmingdale State College (SUNY), Farmingdale, NY 11735, USA
Interests: embodiment; medical sociology; LGBTQ+ health

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

As the global prevalence and awareness of chronic health conditions grows, it is imperative that social science remains central to understanding the emergence, experience, and social impact of these conditions. This Special Issue follows in the tradition of Zola (1976), Charmaz (1993), and other existing social science scholarship on disability, sociology of health, and sociology of the body that focuses on chronic health issues to contextualize these conditions beyond the arena of biomedicine.

This Special Issue focuses on emerging research that utilizes social science perspectives on chronic health conditions. Critically important to the social scientific study of chronic health conditions is the centering of structural factors, including but not limited to race, class, gender, sexual orientation, immigration status, and body size. Potential topics for this Special Issue include chronic pain, chronic illness, long COVID, mental health, medicalization, diagnostic categories, media, technology, patient advocacy and activism, and other issues related to chronic health conditions. Contributions can include empirical work, theoretical pieces, extended literature reviews, methodology papers, or book reviews related to chronic health conditions from a social science perspective. We especially welcome papers from the Global South or articles that focus on the experiences of chronic health conditions for structurally marginalized populations.

Please submit your extended abstract to Special Issue editors, Dr. Natalie Ingraham () and Dr. Natalie C. Boero (), by 1 February 2024. For those accepted for consideration, the deadline for full paper submission will be 31 March 2024 for preliminary review.

Dr. Natalie C. Boero
Dr. Natalie Ingraham
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Social Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • embodiment
  • medical sociology
  • chronic illness
  • disability studies
  • pain
  • caretaking
  • methodology
  • interdisciplinary
  • sociology of health

Published Papers (3 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

14 pages, 799 KiB  
Article
BMI Is Bunk, but Fat Women Are Diseased: The Hypocrisy of “The Normal (White) Man”
by Sabrina Strings and Caryn Bell
Soc. Sci. 2024, 13(6), 276; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci13060276 - 21 May 2024
Viewed by 315
Abstract
“Obesity”, is defined as a body mass index (BMI) ≥ 30. Yet the tool, BMI, has been shown to be flawed in its weight classing. BMI categories were made by relying nearly exclusively on data about middle-class white males, creating “the normal (white) [...] Read more.
“Obesity”, is defined as a body mass index (BMI) ≥ 30. Yet the tool, BMI, has been shown to be flawed in its weight classing. BMI categories were made by relying nearly exclusively on data about middle-class white males, creating “the normal (white) man”. Yet, BMI continues to be used as a diagnostic tool, and is increasingly deployed to stigmatize fat persons as “diseased”. This has critical implications for women—especially Black women and Latinas—who have some of the highest BMIs in the country. But, despite the consternation over the size of the bodies women of color have, there are nearly no studies to date examining the relationship between BMI and rates of chronic illness by race and gender. In this study, we examined the associations between BMI and type 2 diabetes (T2D) for women across race in comparison to white men. Relying on 20 years of NHANES data, we found that while Latinas and Black women were nearly 3 times and over 5 times as likely to have T2D than white men, respectively, the association between BMI and T2D was significantly weaker for Latinas than for white men. The association between BMI and T2D was markedly weaker for Black women. This study shows that racial and gendered health disparities cannot be explained by differences in rates of “obesity” as defined by a white male norm. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chronic Health Conditions and Bodies: Methods, Meanings, and Medicine)
Show Figures

Figure 1

20 pages, 1694 KiB  
Article
Centering Women of Color: Chronic Vulvovaginal Pain (CVVP) Communication
by Olivia R. Adams, Amanda N. Gesselman and Margaret Bennett-Brown
Soc. Sci. 2024, 13(5), 265; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci13050265 - 15 May 2024
Viewed by 312
Abstract
Background: Black and white women describe their chronic vulvar pain (CVVP) symptoms differently, indicating a patient–provider communication deficit. This may contribute to the diagnostic delay commonly reported by patients with CVVP and/or pelvic pain. Methods: A pilot study demonstrated CVVP terminology differences between [...] Read more.
Background: Black and white women describe their chronic vulvar pain (CVVP) symptoms differently, indicating a patient–provider communication deficit. This may contribute to the diagnostic delay commonly reported by patients with CVVP and/or pelvic pain. Methods: A pilot study demonstrated CVVP terminology differences between women of color and white women. The present study (N = 488) includes a sample of predominantly cisgender women who identified their race/ethnicity as Black, Hispanic/Latinx, Native American/American Indian, and/or Asian. Participants reported how they describe their CVVP, their healthcare experiences, and characteristics of their diagnostic journey. Results: Descriptions of CVVP were not uniform. Instead, there was great variability in how women described their pain across racial/ethnic identities and pain contexts (e.g., sexual activity, menstrual product use, and pelvic exam). Some pain experiences and descriptors were associated with healthcare outcomes related to diagnostic delay. Conclusions: This study sheds light on the pain communication experiences of women of color with CVVP, an understudied population within the broader CVVP literature. By resisting white and non-white comparative methodologies, this study demonstrates the applicability of intersectionality principles to the study of CVVP and contributes to the existing literature regarding pain communication, race, and ethnicity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chronic Health Conditions and Bodies: Methods, Meanings, and Medicine)
Show Figures

Figure 1

22 pages, 9176 KiB  
Article
“It’s Like Having an Uncontrolled Situation”: Using Body Maps to Understand the Embodied Experiences of People with Hidradenitis Suppurativa, a Chronic Dermatological Condition
by Natalie Ingraham, Kelly Duong and Lena R. Hann
Soc. Sci. 2024, 13(3), 168; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci13030168 - 14 Mar 2024
Viewed by 1357
Abstract
Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is a chronic, inflammatory, and often debilitating skin condition that includes painful “flares” in the groin, genital, and underarms. (1) Background: Patients with HS have the highest reported mental health comorbidities among dermatological conditions. Qualitative social science research about HS [...] Read more.
Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is a chronic, inflammatory, and often debilitating skin condition that includes painful “flares” in the groin, genital, and underarms. (1) Background: Patients with HS have the highest reported mental health comorbidities among dermatological conditions. Qualitative social science research about HS is limited, so this study aimed to understand the lived experiences of people with HS through body mapping. Body mapping is a participatory research process where participants illustrate a drawing of their body with images, symbols, and words that represent their embodied experience. (2) Methods: This study recruited 30 participants from a previous survey about HS experiences. Participants selected from pre-made body silhouettes based on their body shape, illustrated a body map about their HS experience, then shared their body map during in-depth interviews. Interviews and body maps were analyzed with the same codebook created with inductive and deductive codes. (3) Results: The body map drawings yielded rich visual data and the mapping process helped participants express their HS experiences in unique ways that cannot always be captured with textual data alone. (4) Conclusions: This study adds to the limited social science literature about HS and introduces body mapping as a relevant qualitative method for exploring chronic dermatological conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chronic Health Conditions and Bodies: Methods, Meanings, and Medicine)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop