Illness and the Environment

A Reader in Contested Medicine

464 pages

August, 2000

ISBN: 9780814747292

$27

Also available in

Authors

Steve Kroll-Smith is Research Professor of Sociology at the University of New Orleans.

All books by Steve Kroll-Smith

Phil Brown is Professor of Sociology at Brown University, author of Radical Psychology, and coauthor of No Safe Place: Toxic Waste, Leukemia, and Community Action.

Valerie J. Gunter is Associate Professor of Sociology and Director of the Environmental Research Institute at the University of New Orleans.

All books by Philip M. Brown

Valerie J. Gunter is Associate Professor of Sociology and Director of the Environmental Research Institute at the University of New Orleans.

All books by Valerie Gunter

In myriad ways, humans have gradually tailored their world to meet immediate material needs. In so doing, we have, in the minds of many, systematically altered a formerly hospitable environment into one more ambiguous in its effect on the human organism. Just as environments have adapted in response to human activity, so too is the human body now, in turn, forced to adapt to these altered conditions. Today, mysterious illnesses, from chronic fatigue to Gulf War Syndrome, meet us at every turn. Yet even as an increasing number of people attribute ailments to environmental problems, the suspected relationships between illness and environment remain unclear.

Illness and the Environment examines how sick people and their allies struggle to achieve public recognition of somatic complaints and disabilities that they contend are related to "manufactured environments." The first of its kind, the anthology considers the political, legal, and medical conflicts arising from these illnesses, and will prove invaluable to researchers, scholars, public policy makers, trial attorneys, and activist organizations.