Drew HalfmannAssociate Professor
Ph.D., New York University
Office: 2270 SS&H
Office hours: R 1:40-2:40, and by apt.
Phone: Please contact me by email
Classes: Soc 185, 3:10 TR, Soc 299, 11:30R
Drew Halfmann's research and teaching focuses on social movements and the politics of health and social policy. He is the author of Doctors and Demonstrators: How Political Institutions Shape Abortion Law in the United States, Britain and Canada (University of Chicago Press, 2011), which won the 2012 Charles Tilly Best Book Award from the American Sociological Association Section on Collective Behavior and Social Movements, and the 2013 Distinguished Scholarship Award from the Pacific Sociological Association. His work has appeared in the American Sociological Review, Social Problems, Mobilization, HEALTH, Studies in American Political Development, and the Journal of Policy History. His current research is on the African-American struggle for health equality from Reconstruction to Obamacare. He is a member of the and co-director of its Bay Area Regional Network. He blogs at and Dissent.
Doctors and Demonstrators: How Political Institutions Shape Abortion Law in the United States, Britain and Canada. University of Chicago Press, 2011. 20% Discount Code: AD9883
2012 Charles Tilly Best Book Award, American Sociological Association Section on Collective Behavior and Social Movements
2013 Distinguished Scholarship Award, Pacific Sociological Association
Since Roe v. Wade, abortion has continued to be a divisive political issue in the United States. In contrast, it has remained primarily a medical issue in Britain and Canada despite the countries’ shared heritage. Doctors and Demonstrators looks beyond cultural or religious explanations to find out why abortion politics and policies differ so dramatically in these otherwise similar countries.
Political institutions are the key. In the United States, federalism, judicial review, and a private health care system contributed to the public definition of abortion as an individual right rather than a medical necessity. Meanwhile, the porous structure of American political parties gave pro-choice and pro-life groups the opportunity to move the issue onto the political agenda.
Sick and Tired: the African-American Struggle for Health Equality
The project examines the social forces and government policies that shaped the health of African-Americans over the last 150 years: from Reconstruction to Obamacare. It explores several questions: What are the main social determinants of health and health inequality, and how do these change over time? How do government policies affect health and health inequality, and what accounts for those policies? What explains the mobilization and impact of health equality movements? To what extent have movements for racial equality prioritized health and health care?
- . University of Chicago Press, 2011.
- HEALTH: An Interdisciplinary Journal for the Social Study of Health, Illness and Medicine.
- “Opportunity Knocks: The Trouble with Political Opportunity and What You Can Do About It” (with Edwin Amenta) in Jeff Goodwin and James M. Jasper (eds.) Contention in Context: New Opportunities in Social Movement Research. Palo Alto: Stanford University Press, 2011.
- " (with Jesse Rude and Kim Ebert). Research in the Sociology of Health Care, 2005, 23, 245-275.
- "Historical Priorities and the Responses of Doctors’ Associations to Abortion Reforms in Britain and the United States, 1960-1973.” Social Problems, 2003, 50: 567-92.
- "Wage Wars: Institutional Politics, WPA Wages and the Struggle for U.S. Social Policy" (with Edwin Amenta). American Sociological Review, 2000, 65(4): 506-528.
Course Outlines and Syllabi
- Political Sociology (Soc 118): Outline, Syllabus
- Sociology of Health and Illness (Soc 154): Outline, Syllabus
- Social Welfare (Soc 185): Outline, Syllabus
- Honors Thesis Seminar (194HAB): Syllabus
- Sociology of Health and Illness Graduate Seminar (Soc 254): Syllabus