Imagine a physician seeing a patient who has been diagnosed with cancer. If that physician approached matters as sociologists do, the physician would sit the patient down in their office and start by presenting several general theories regarding why cancer occurs. For example, maybe one theory might explain why cancer rates have changed over the decades. Another might link cancer to environmental factors, such as air pollution. Still another might link cancer to lifestyle choices, such as smoking and diet.
After that, the physician would go into a long description of how rates of cancer vary by types of people, paying particularly close attention to race, class and gender. Perhaps people in some racial groups are more prone to this particular type of cancer. Maybe men get it earlier in life than women. The physician might also add [Read more...]