Over the past two decades, a sociology of global health has emerged. While this new subfield takes up some themes and issues that are familiar to the discipline as a whole—among them organizations, social movements, and the social construction of illness—it has also posed new questions and opened new research pathways by formulating and testing theory in environments radically different from the United States. This work has forced sociologists to confront the ethnocentrism of research paradigms that are grounded in the American experience and to consider classical assumptions and constructs in fruitful new ways. Notable recent literature reviews have taken up the issue of HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa, comparative healthcare systems, and the sociology of development. However, this review is the first to outline the contours of a coherent sociology of global health. It addresses several questions: What issues are being taken up in this emergent subfield? What added value comes from turning scholarly attention beyond our borders? And what new research agendas lie on the horizon?

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