Social Movements and the Transformation of American Health Care

Jane Banaszak-Holl, Sandra Levitsky, Mayer Zald

Research output: Book/ReportEdited Bookpeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


Social Movements and the Transformation of American Health Care examines dynamics of change in health care institutions through the lens of contemporary theory and research on collective action. Bringing together scholars from medicine, health management and policy, history, sociology, and political science, the book conceptualizes the American health care system as being organized around multiple institutions-including the state, biomedical fields, professions, and health delivery organizations. By shifting attention toward the organizing structures and political logics of these institutions, the essays in this book illuminate the diversity in both sites of health-related collective action and the actors seeking transformations in health institutions. The book considers health-related social movements at four distinct levels of analysis. At the most macro level, essays analyze social movements that seek changes from the state in the regulation, financing, and distribution of health resources. A second set of essays considers field-level analyses of institutional changes in such wide ranging areas as public health, bio-ethics, long-term care, abortion, and AIDS services. A third set of essays examines the relationship between social movements and professions, examining the "boundary crossing" that occurs when professionals participate in social movements or seek changes in existing professions and the health practices they endorse. A final set of essays analyzes the cultural dominance of the medical model for addressing health problems in the United States and its implications for collective attempts to establish the legitimacy of particular issues, framings, and political actors in health care reform.

Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationNew York, United States
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages416
Edition1st Edition
ISBN (Electronic)9780199866519
ISBN (Print)9780195388299
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Collective action
  • Health care
  • Health institutions
  • Health insurance
  • Mobilization
  • Policy reform
  • Social movements

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