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Posts Tagged ‘drugs

sase mini-conference cfp “Regulation, Innovation, and Valuation in Markets for Health and Medicines” – deadline extended to Fri., Jan. 24, 2020

SASE annual meeting submissions are currently open, and the submission deadline has been extended to Fri. Jan. 24, 2020!  (The 2020 annual meeting will be held July 18-20 at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands.)

For those studying organizations, innovation, health, medicines, markets, and/or inequality, I wanted to call attention to one of the mini-conference calls, organized by Kathryn Ibata-Arens and Etienne Nouguez.

Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics (SASE) 2020, 18-20 July

University of Amsterdam

“Regulation, Innovation, and Valuation in Markets for Health and Medicines”

Mini-Conference Call for Papers

Conference Co-Organizers:

Kathryn Ibata-Arens, PhD

Vincent de Paul Professor of Political Economy

DePaul University

Etienne Nouguez, PhD

CNRS Researcher

Center For the Sociology of Organizations (SciencesPo/CNRS)

The world is experiencing rapid transformations in the development of new approaches to improving human health and the health of communities, healthcare provision, governance over the use and pricing of drugs and medicines, and medical innovations in biotechnology (genomics and stem cell-based therapies). For example, open innovation systems and sharing in the commons have introduced healing medicines and medical innovations (e.g. the Human Genome Project). At the same time, there is growing inequality in who gets access to medical care and medicines, and at what price.

 

Meanwhile, market competition has in part led to the opioid crisis of addiction in the United States, human subjects abuses in developing countries in the race to develop new drugs, and a decline in the discovery of radical new innovations in medicines for poor populations. This mini-conference aims to convene a group of related panels around issues in global health and medicines, to facilitate useful critical discussion and reflection on participants’ works-in-progress. Driving questions include:

 

-What theoretical advances are being made in understanding causal mechanisms in improving, or undermining human health and community health, for example, through state policy and firm and organizational strategy? What new frameworks and methods are being developed to identify key actors and explain actions (e.g. improving, or undermining health, broadly defined)?

 

-What is the evolving role of the state, healthcare systems and professions, and other actors (multilateral bodies, firms, non-profit organizations) in medical and medicine provision and innovation? Are we seeing a shift from traditional dominant blocks (North America and Europe) to new actors (Asia and the Global South)? Likewise, how have states and healthcare organizations been effective (or ineffective, indifferent) in the valuation and pricing of medicines (fair, equitable, and affordable access to life saving medicines)?

 

-What should be the responsibility, if any, of the global intellectual property rights regime as arbitrated by such powerful organizations as the World Trade Organization and global corporations in monitoring access and benefit sharing of profits resulting from research and development into new drugs and medicines?

 

-What are the roles for regulation and institutionalization of markets for such boundary-products between medicine and health food as probiotics, herbals, so-called nutraceuticals, and other dietary supplements – in ensuring the health and safety of consumers and patients?

 

-In what way is current research and policy aiming for “inclusive” innovation (e.g. in healthcare provision, new drug discovery) focused on distributive aspects versus stakeholder inclusion, or both (e.g. under the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs))? What is the relative role for (social) entrepreneurs, large firms, and other actors?

 

Our mini-conference encourages submissions of papers exploring emerging frameworks and theories, as well as empirically rich original data from the developed and developing world and at various levels of analysis (e.g. local community, firm, state, multilateral institution). Scholars at all levels are welcome. In the spirit of innovation and creativity, the panels will have an interactive workshop format around discussant feedback and moderated audience participation. For more information, contact the co-organizers at medhealthSASE2020@gmail.com.

You can also download the full mini-conferenc call here: SASE2020HealthandMedicinemini-conferenceCFPK10-28-19

Grad students, post-docs, and other early career scholars, please also note: travel funding and a pre-conference workshop day are available, by a competitive selection process, for those who submit full papers for consideration and are accepted in a network or mini-conference.

Written by katherinechen

January 2, 2020 at 7:20 pm

on dreamland and the difference between journalism and sociology

What’s the difference between journalism and sociology? (I ask as someone who’s gotten article reviews that said my works reads too much like journalism).

I just finished, at Gabriel Rossman’s recommendation, Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic, which is an incredibly ambitious (and beautifully executed) work of journalism by Sam Quinones.  It won the National Book Critics Award for General Nonfiction and has gotten a lot of buzz from all sorts of people.  It really is necessary reading: I feel like I finally have some sense of how and why the opiate epidemic is happening, as well as what we might be able to do about it.

And after I finished the book, I thought, how is what I read not simply a mixed-methods work of sociology, using interview and comparative-historical work? I’m not sure I have an easy answer—this is a loose set of categories—but if I had to make the distinction, I’d say that sociology suggests generalizable categories, mechanisms, or causal accounts.  We’re looking for the logic beneath the story.

This gets to some of the grumbling I’ve heard about Matt Desmond’s book, or Alice Goffman’s, or many other works within the sub sub category of urban ethnography.  These books and articles (but they’re usually books) are often criticized for simply being stories, or, in other words, not having clear theoretical payoffs.  That’s certainly not always true of ethnography, or even urban ethnography.  Iddo Tavory’s recent book, Summoned, is very much a theoretical contribution, and, I think, so is Alice Goffman’s, in that she subtly provides a theory of fugitive life that is, in fact, generalizable to other contexts.  While Desmond can clearly do high level sociological work, his book appears to me a bit less transferrable, but, of course, I don’t think that’s the point. (And it’s clearly not what the National Book Critics Circle Award committee cared about: it gave Evicted the same award it gave Dreamland the year before).

Now not having some generalizable or transferrable theory might not be a problem of course—Andrew Abbot famously defends these forms of “lyrical” sociology, which he (somewhat confusingly) contrasts to narratives. (He doesn’t mean narrative in terms of the story of a particular community but narrative in terms of causal accounts.)

Could we generalize from Quinones’s book? Not really except inasmuch as we get access to a careful analysis of how various organizational structures happened, wholly unintentionally, to lead to one of the worst public health crises our country has ever seen. It’s a story of how drug marketing, changes in medical practice, adaptations of Mexican drug production and distribution, and the hollowing out of middle America all came together.  Yet this isn’t all that different from a certain way of doing comparative historical work, which is to start with a neat empirical puzzle (why is the opiate epidemic so terrible?) and then provide a compelling empirical answer. The difference from sociology is that there’s usually some theorist we’re modifying as part of that answer, something like, well, Tilly would have said X and Sahlins would have said Y, but if you combine them with a little bit of our own magic, you get what explains this social outcome.  That’s not what we get in Quinones: we just get the stories.  This is another difference from urban ethnography: even if the authors aren’t as explicit about their sociological upbringing, even if they’re the most unrepentant grounded theorists who just figure it out as they go, you can always sense the Goffman (or any other theorist) just a little bit below the surface.

You don’t get that sense of a theorist lurking somewhere beneath the stories in Quinones.  It makes the book easier to read, of course, and it makes it—sure—more lyrical too.

*

I sent the above to Gabriel Rossman, and he pointed out that there is underlying theory in Quinones about, among other things, unintended consequences and social capital. It’s a good point, and it makes me wonder about the difference between evidence of a theory (or even of a theory’s influence) and articulation and development of a theory.  So I guess I have to restate  what I write above: there is a sense of a theorist somewhere in Quinones—quite a few of them actually, as Gabe pointed out in his thoughts on the book at his blog, but it’s not an implicit theorist we see so much as data that, because it is so well documented, is easily theorized or related to theory.

Gabe argues that “every detail of the book illustrated and illuminated another aspect of sociology” and I think that’s right: it’s part of why I found the book so captivating as well.  You really should read his post: it’s an excellent list of evidence of all sorts of sociological theories. Gabe describes themes in his post and I think he’s right to do so , so but themes aren’t the same as theoretical arguments, or, if they are, they’re implicitly there. Of course these distinctions don’t actually matter all that much: we could all agree it’s a great book that helps us understand the opiate epidemic, and just leave it at that.  But figuring out the boundaries of a particular category is something both emic and etic within sociology, and, as scholars of boundaries point out, it’s a helpful way to determine (and maintain) who we are and what we do.

 

 

 

 

Written by jeffguhin

March 31, 2017 at 4:04 pm