Missing Pieces: Engaging Sociology of Disability in Medical Sociology

Laura Mauldin, Robyn Lewis Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Medical sociologists and sociologists of disability study similar topics but, because of competing or conflicting theoretical paradigms, tend to arrive at different conclusions, engage with different audiences, and pursue different directions for social change. Despite diverging trajectories over the past 20 years, however, there remains clear potential overlap between both subfields in the study of disability and untapped opportunities for cross-fertilization. Our purpose here is to place these literatures in conversation with each other. Toward this end, we identify major themes in the last 20 years of medical sociology scholarship, gaps with regard to disability in those themes, and possibilities (including methodologies) we see at the intersection of medical sociology and the sociology of disability that could address these gaps.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)477-492
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Health and Social Behavior
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© American Sociological Association 2021.


  • chronic illness
  • disability
  • emancipatory methods
  • medicalization
  • social stressors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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