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. 2012 Feb;74(3):273-280.
doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2011.11.002. Epub 2011 Dec 7.

Let's Dance: Organization Studies, Medical Sociology and Health Policy

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Let's Dance: Organization Studies, Medical Sociology and Health Policy

Graeme Currie et al. Soc Sci Med. .

Abstract

This Special Issue of Social Science & Medicine investigates the potential for positive inter-disciplinary interaction, a 'generative dance', between organization studies (OS), and two of the journal's traditional disciplinary foundations: health policy and medical sociology. This is both necessary and timely because of the extent to which organizations have become a neglected topic within medical sociology and health policy analysis. We argue there is need for further and more sustained theoretical and conceptual synergy between OS, medical sociology and health policy, which provides, on the one-hand a cutting-edge and thought-provoking basis for the analysis of contemporary health reforms, and on the other hand, enables the development and elaboration of theory. We emphasize that sociologists and policy analysts in healthcare have been leading contributors to our understanding of organizations in modern society, that OS enhances our understanding of medical settings, and that organizations remain one of the most influential actors of our time. As a starting point to discussion, we outline the genealogy of OS and its application to healthcare settings. We then consider how medical sociology and health policy converge or diverge with the concerns of OS in the study of healthcare settings. Following this, we focus upon the material environment, specifically the position of business schools, which frames the generative dance between OS, medical sociology and health policy. This sets the context for introducing the thirteen articles that constitute the Special Issue of Social Science & Medicine.

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