Sociology Index


Epidemiology is a term used largely in sociology of health and medicine and describing the study of the occurrence and distribution of diseases. Epidemiology investigates changes in the frequency of occurrence or incidence and association of diseases with particular physical or social locations. Epidemiological research can be conducted on crime, viewed as analogous to a disease of society, and a host of social problems. Incidence is a contrasting term to prevalence.

Prevalence is distinct from incidence. Prevalence is a measurement of all individuals affected by the disease within a particular period of time, whereas Incidence is a measurement of the number of new individuals who contract a disease during a particular period of time.


American College of Epidemiology - History and Mission: Over the past three decades, epidemiology, has matured into a field of its own, as both an academic discipline and a field of practice in a large variety of health agencies, hospitals, and research insitututions. The past twenty years have been marked by a significant increase in the number of individuals who have chosen epidemiology as a career or who have entered epidemiology from such disciplines as medicine, statistics, sociology, genetics, and biology.

The American College of Epidemiology was incorporated in 1979 to develop criteria for professional recognition of epidemiologists and to address their professional concerns. The College has benefitted from the leadership of the leading epidemiologists in the world.

Emerging Themes in Epidemiology is a Online Journal published by BioMed Central.

Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology (JESEE), is a peer-reviewed publication that publishes research important to exposure assessment for toxic substances, environmental epidemiology that includes a strong exposure analysis component and related disciplines that advance the exposure assessment process. JESEE also publishes papers on exposure analysis such as measurements and modeling; mechanisms of exposure; development of molecular biomarkers; genomic, proteomic, and metabonomics studies that assess exposure in the context of health effects; studies on chemical, biological, and physical principles required to analyze human exposure from single and multiple routes; occupational exposure studies; and, population-based studies.

The globalization of epidemiology: critical thoughts from Latin America 
Mauricio L Barreto, - International Journal of Epidemiology.
Background Epidemiology in Latin America, as in the rest of the world, has been developed for the purpose of contributing towards understanding the causes and determinants of the phenomena of health and disease in specific contexts. However, in that continent it has specific characteristics. The paper explores epidemiology in the Latin American continent, emphasizing on the one hand epidemiology as a knowledge-producing, scientific discipline, and on the other hand, epidemiology in praxis, with its firm commitment to contributing towards transforming the health of the population. It has been possible to identify at least eight idiosyncrasies that characterize epidemiology in Latin America. This paper presents a picture of the development of epidemiology in Latin America. However, one important aspect is that these two elements, theory and praxis, present consistent dialectic relationships and feedback; this is the main wealth of Latin American epidemiology.

Embodiment: a conceptual glossary for epidemiology 
Nancy Krieger - Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 2005;59:350-355 
Embodiment. This construct and process are central to ecosocial theory and epidemiological inquiry. This glossary sketches some key concepts, definitions, and hypotheses relevant for using the construct of "embodiment" in epidemiological research, so as to promote not only rigorous science but also social equity in health.

ECOLOGIC STUDIES IN EPIDEMIOLOGY: Concepts, Principles, and Methods
Hal Morgenstern, Department of Epidemiology and Center for Occupational and Environmental Health, University of California, Los Angeles, School of Public Health, Los Angeles, California 90024-1772.
Abstract: An ecologic study focuses on the comparison of groups, rather than individuals; thus, individual-level data are missing on the joint distribution of variables within groups. Variables in an ecologic analysis may be aggregate measures, environmental measures, or global measures. The purpose of an ecologic analysis may be to make biologic inferences about effects on individual risks or to make ecologic inferences about effects on group rates. Ecologic study designs may be classified on two dimensions: (a) whether the primary group is measured (exploratory vs analytic study); and (b) whether subjects are grouped by place (multiple-group study), by time (time-trend study), or by place and time (mixed study).