About This Book

The Canadian Society for the Sociology of Health is a recently established professional association dedicated to the promotion of the sociological study of health, illness and health care issues in Canada in both our official languages. This organization grew out of the hosting of the 2008 Interim Conference of the Research Committee on Medical Sociology of the International Sociology Association in Montreal.  This served as an important crystallizing event for the Canadian medical sociology. The CSSH subsequently hosted its second Biennial, Bilingual Conference in Ottawa October 28th to 30th, 2010. The primary objective of our second conference was to:

  • bring together anglophone and francophone medical sociologists to present cutting edge research on a variety of critical topics,
  • advance the discipline and our understanding of health and health care issues, and
  • foster greater translation of the knowledge we create to key users to better address critical health issues in Canada and abroad.

Our aim was to further develop the dialogue between sociology of health scholars initiated at this event, to continue to showcase the work of both established and emerging Canadian medical sociology scholars to a national and international audience, to foster linkages with key users of this research, and to build capacity in a new generation of medical sociologists.

One of the key linkages we intend to foster with this organization is between medical sociology scholars working within the context of English and French Canada. Too long have these communities worked in isolation when so many more advances could be made by knowing about each others’ research and collaborating in joint research and writing endeavours. To date there has been relatively little dialogue between scholars undertaking important work in English and that which is being conducted in French across Canada. Although francophone and anglophone medical sociology reflect problematics in their respective regions and communities, there is much overlap and synergies that remain untapped. It is particularly unfortunate when we find out about the important work being done in either setting from our international colleagues rather than directly through our own national networks. Without a bilingual venue as the one we are proposing, we will continue to work in our two solitudes rather than coordinating efforts to advance important Canadian contributions to the sociology of health and health care field.

Following its Second Biennial Conference, the Editors issued a call for a selection of the papers presented at that conference to be reviewed and considered for the first of what would hopefully be a bilingual, biennial monograph of the CSSH called Health and Society/Societé et Santé. We received over 20 submissions and are pleased to gather here 13 chapters that have been organized into four thematic sections: Population Health and Equity, Social Aspects of the Delivery of Care, Gender and the Social Experience of Health and Illness, Contemporary Issues in the Sociology of Health Care in Canada. Papers have been submitted in either French or English and we will be publishing translated abstracts in the alternate language of approximately 300 words. We hope to be able to launch the volume early in 2013.

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