RC15 Sociology of Health, International Sociological Association Forum

Call For Abstracts
RC15 Sociology of Health, International Sociological Association Forum, Buenos Aires, Argentina, August 1-4, 2012
Session on Health care choice: Discourses, perceptions and experiences

The deadline for online submission of abstracts is Thursday 15 December, at:

Kirsten HARLEY, The University of Sydney, Australia
Jonathan GABE, University of London, UK,
Michael CALNAN, University of Kent, UK,

The notion of choice is at the heart of neoliberalism, which has driven much health system reform over recent decades. Under neoliberalism, choice is promoted as valuable in itself, and it is taken for granted that individuals are rational actors who can and do exercise choice on the basis of calculations designed to maximise self-interest and minimise loss. Health care users may be invited or obliged to exercise choice in engaging with health care systems: public or private facilities; practitioners (which type and which one); multiple treatment options (including surgical procedures, over-the-counter medications, complementary therapies); treatment domestically or abroad. However, the nature of health care choice is entwined with questions about access to information, competing evidences, the role of trust and responsibility, and different capacities to choose.

This session invites empirical and conceptual papers about discourses, perceptions and/or experiences of health care choice. Within particular health care systems and contexts, they may address questions including: How are health care choices constructed and enscribed in policy, marketing and professional discourses? What choices do patients perceive as available to them, and to what extent do they value choice? What information and resources, including advice from health professionals, do health service users draw upon in making particular health care choices? How can sociology explain the differential capacity to choose? And what is the relationship between discourses, perceptions and experiences of health care choice?

The full list of sessions is available at:
See Older News...