SOC313 – To Err is Human: A Look at Medical Error


Medical error– defined as unintended or failed plan of actions related to treatments– is an understudied in medical sociology. Patient harm from medical error can occur at the individual and systemic level however, and it might shock you to learn that it happens more often than not– it’s technically the third leading cause of death in the United States! Listen to our discussion on what societal factors contribute to medical error. Leave us a rating and review if you enjoy our podcast!


Medical error, medical sociology, medicine, hospitals, doctors


  1. Medical error—the third leading cause of death in the US
  2. Deaths and Mortality (CDC)
  3. “To err is human”: a report from the institute of medicine
  4. Choosing Your Words Carefully: How Physicians Would Disclose Harmful Medical Errors to Patients
  5. Databases, legal records, websites used to gather details on doctors
  6. A Conceptual Model for Disclosure of Medical Errors
  7. Health Care Ratings and Reports

SOC 214 – Reproductive Politics: The Body as a Site of Political Struggle


In this episode, the team tackles one of the most sensitive topics within current social discussions – reproductive politics. Using Rickie Solinger’s seminal book Reproductive Politics, we discuss how the women’s bodies have become a site of public political struggle, thereby, determining the level of personal autonomy and privacy available to women. We highlight an aspect of Solinger’s work on fetal personhood, and how the rights of the fetus have been constructed, in some ways, in conflict with the mother’s rights.

*NOTE: This episode was recorded last year in 2018 (hence, the breakdowns are old), but we did not want to release it until we had covered the umbrella topics around reproductive politics. For a primer on episodes to listen to before this episode, check out the following:

  1. SOC109 – Illness & Morality: A Look at Medical Sociology
  2. SOC126-Medicalizing Behavior: Common or “Abnormal”?
  3. SOC204 – The Spectrum: An Introduction to Sex and Gender
  4. SOC205 – The Matrices of Oppression: An Introduction to Intersectionality
  5. SOC 213 – Doulas and Midwives and Women’s Health, Oh My!

Reproductive politics, fetal personhood, autonomy, sex, gender


  1. Reproductive Politics: What Everyone Needs to Know by Rickie Solinger (2013)
  2. Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity by Judith Butler (2015)
  3. The Status Syndrome: How Social Standing Affects Our Health and Longevity by Michael Marmot (2005)
  4. Breastfeeding in public is finally legal in all 50 US states
  5. Roe v. Wade: The Constitutional Right to Access Safe, Legal Abortion
  6. Does the GOP tax bill introduce anti-abortion ‘fetal personhood’ legislation?
  7. Abortion after the first trimester
  8. Induced Abortion in the United States
  9. Trump just basically said he’s anti-childbirth
  10. The Criminalization of Bad Mothers (New York Times)
  11. State Laws on Fetal Homicide and Penalty-Enhancement for Crimes Against Pregnant Women
  12. Unborn Victims of Violence Act
  13. Woman whose rapist was granted joint custody of child speaks out
  14. How can US rapist win joint custody of victim’s child?
  15. Ronald Reagan, The Silent Scream and the Slow Rise of Fetal Pain
  16. Abortion in the US: Five Key Facts
  17. Characteristics of U.S. Abortion Patients in 2014 and Changes Since 2008
  18. Waiting Periods and the Rising Price of Abortion

SOC126-Medicalizing Behavior: Common or “Abnormal”?


Since 2000, which marked the national Human Genome Project (HGP), society has seen a shift in the process of medicalization–and we are here to talk about it! What is “normal” versus “abnormal” child behavior? How has society continued to explain human behavior in biological, genetic or medical terms? How does the pharmaceutical industry influence this process? Join us for the conversation on this week’s episode!


medicalization, deviance, genetics


  1. Terminology brief and short article on the medicalization of deviance
  2. The Medicalization of Deviance: From Badness to Sickness. Prominent sociologist, Joseph Schneider. (Handbook of Sociology of Deviance 2015)
  3. The Problem with Race-Based Medicine--TED Talk with legal and medical scholar Dorothy Roberts
  4. The Medicalization of Society (Full Book pdf) by Peter Conrad
  5. ADHD Fictitious Epidemic (2 minute video)
  6. ADHD as a difference in cognition, not disorder–TED Talk Student Competition Winner
  7. Lecture on medicalization from Peter Conrad
  8. National Human Genome Research Institute
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