Anti-egalitarianism, legitimizing myths, racism, and "neo-McCarthyism" in social epidemiology and public health: A review of Sally Satel's PC, M.D.

Carles Muntaner, Marisela B. Gomez

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Sally Satel's PC, M.D.: How Political Correctness Is Corrupting Medicine constitutes an attempt to weaken the influence of egalitarian and antiracist scholarship in contemporary public health. This book has been widely distributed and has received many positive reviews in academia and the general press. Surprisingly, Satel has enlisted the direct or indirect support of prominent public health academics. The authors' critical review of this book indicates that Satel uses a combination of tactics to convince the reader of the danger involved in egalitarian public health efforts. Among them are insults, traditional "red baiting" tactics, "triangulation," exaggeration, emotionally charged examples, omissions, and a strong appeal to individual responsibility to explain social inequalities in health. PC, M.D. reveals a scientific and ideological conflict over the determinants of health in populations that takes place within and outside the public health discipline. Efforts such as PC, M.D. suggest that social epidemiologists and other egalitarian public health scholars are having some impact in shaping how the public views health disparities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Health Services
Volume32
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy

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