Peter Conrad

Harry Coplan Professor of Social Sciences, Emeritus

Peter  Conrad's photo


Office: Pearlman Hall 102
Phone: 781-736-2635
Brandeis Directory


Sociology of health and illness. Deviance. Field methods. Medicalization of Society. Public Discourse concerning the new genetics. Sociology of ADHD.


  • EL 94a - Experiential Learning Practicum
  • SOC 191a - Health, Community, and Society
  • SOC 194a - Sociology of Mental Health and Illness
  • SOC 208a - Social Problems Theory and Research


  • Boston University
  • Northeastern University
  • State University of New York at Buffalo

Peter Conrad

Harry Coplan Professor of Social Sciences, Emeritus


Teaches in medical sociology & qualitative research. Most recent book, The Medicalization of Society (2007), on origins & consequences of the growth of medical jurisdiction over human problems. New research projects on globalization of ADHD and illness on the Internet..

Awards and Honors

  • Lee Founder's Award (from Society for Study of Social Problems, for lifetime contributions) (2007)
  • Leo G. Reeder Award for "outstanding contributions to medical sociology," Medical Sociology Section, ASA (2003)
  • Fulbright Fellowship (1996 - 1997)
  • President, Society for the Study of Social Problems (1995 - 1996)
  • Chair, Medical Sociology Section, American Sociology Association (1988 - 1989)
  • National Institute of Mental Health National Research Service Award (1986)
  • Chas. Horton Cooley award for an outstanding recent contribution to the field of symbolic interaction (1981)
  • Honorable Mention, Social Issues Dissertation Award, Sociology for Psychological Study of Social Issues (1976)


  • Conrad, Peter and Miranda Waggoner. ""Anticipatory Medicalization: Predisposition, Prediction, and Proto-disease in Expanding Medical Conditions”." Journal of Predictive, Preventive and Personalized Medicine (2016). (forthcoming)
  • Meredith Bergey and Conrad, Peter. ""The Rise and Transformation of ADHD in the United States"." Global Perspectives on ADHD. Ed. Meredith Bergey et al.. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2016 (forthcoming)
  • Conrad, Peter and Meredith Bergey. "Medicalization: Sociological and Anthropological Perspectives." International Encyclopedia of Social and Behavioral Sciences, second edition.. 2015. (forthcoming)
  • Conrad, Peter and Miranda Waggoner. ""Medicalization"." Blackwell Encyclopedia of Health and Society. London: Blackwell, 2013 (forthcoming)
  • Conrad, Peter, Julia Bandini and Alexandria Vasquez. ""The Internet and Illness: From Private to Public Experience"." HEALTH: An Interdisciplinary journal 20. 1 (2016): 22-32.
  • Meredith Bergey, Angela Filepe, Peter Conrad and Ilina Singh, ed. Global Perspectives on ADHD. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2016.
  • Conrad, Peter. "Forward." Reimagining (Bio)medicalization, Pharmaceuticals and Genetics: Old Critiques and New Engagements. Ed. Susan Bell and Anne Figert. Routledge, 2015
  • Conrad, Peter and Catherine Tan. "Autism, the Internet and Medicalization.." The Public Shaping of Medical Research: Patient Associations, Health Movements and Biomedicine. Ed. Willy Viehouver and Peter Wehling. Routledge, 2014
  • Conrad, Peter and Meredith Bergey. ""The Impending Globalization of ADHD: Notes on the Expansion and Growth of a Medicalized Disorder"." Social Science and Medicine 122. (2014): 31-43.
  • Conrad, Peter and Allan V. Horwitz. "Marketing Neuropsychiatric Illness and Enhancement." Neuroethics in Practice. Ed. A. Chattergee and M. Farah. New York: Oxford University Press, 2013
  • Conrad, Peter and Caitln Slodden. ""The Medicalization of Mental Disorder"." Handbook of the Sociology of Mental Health. Second ed. Ed. C. Aneshensal and J. Phelan. New York: Springer, 2013
  • Conrad, Peter and Valerie Leiter, ed. Sociology of Health and Illness: Critical Perspectives. Ninth Edition ed. New York: Worth Publishers, 2013.
  • Conrad, Peter. ""Medicalization: Changing Contours, Characteristics and Contexts"." Health Sociology on the Move: New Directions in Theory. Ed. William Cockerham. London: Oxford Blackwell, 2013
  • Conrad, Peter and Thomas Mackie. "Opiate Addiction: A Revival of Medical Involvement." Drugs and Cultures. Ed. Maitena Milhat. Ashgate, 2011
  • Conrad, Peter. ""Medicalization"." Hastings Center Report 41. 2 (2011): 13.
  • Conrad, Peter. "Forward to Annemarie Jutel (book)." Putting a Name ot it: Diagnosis in Contemporary Society. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011. 1-3.
  • Chloe Bird, Peter Conrad, Allen Fremont, and Stefan Timmermans. Handbook of Medical Sociology. 6th ed. Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press, 2010.
  • Conrad, Peter and Cheryl Stults. "Internet and the Experience of Illness." Handbook of Medical Sociology. vol. 6th edition Ed. Chloe Bird, Peter Conrad, Allen Fremont, and Stefan Timmermans. Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press, 2010. 179-91.
  • Conrad, Peter and Kristin Barker. "The Social Construction of Illness: Key Insights and Policy Implications." Journal of Health and Social Behavior 51. Extra Issue (2010): S70-S79.
  • Conrad, Peter, Phyllis Carr, Sharon Knight , Megan Renfrew, Mary Dunn, and Linda Piloli. "Hierarchy as a Barrier to Advancement for Women in Academic Medicine." Journal of Women's Health 19. 4 (2010): 799-805.
  • Conrad, Peter, Thomas Mackie, and Attev Mehrotra. "Estimating the Costs of Medicalization." Social Science and Medicine 70. (2010): 1943-47.
  • Conrad, Peter. "Pills and the Pursuit of Happiness and Normalcy." Contexts Spring (2010).
  • Peter Conrad and Vanessa Lopes Munoz. "The Medicalization of Chronic Pain." Tidsskrift for Forskning i Sygdom og Samfund 13. (2010): 13-24.
  • Stults Cheryl and Peter Conrad. ""Medicalization and Risk Scares: The Case of Menopause and HRT"." The Risks of Prescription Drugs. Ed. Donald Light. New York: Columbia University Press, 2010. 120-42.
  • Conrad, Peter, ed. Sociology of Health and Illness: Critical Perspectives (Eighth Edition). New York: Worth Publishing, 2009.
  • Piloli, Linda, Peter Conrad, Phyllis Carr and Sharon Knight. "A Study of the Relational Aspects of Academic Medicine." Academic Medicine 84. January (2009): 106-114.
  • Conrad, Peter and Valerie Leiter. "From Lydia Pinkham to Queen Levitra: DTCA and Medicalization." Sociology of Health and Illness 30. (2008): 825-38.
  • Conrad, Peter and Cheryl Stults. "Contestation and Medicalization." Contesting Illness.. Ed. Pamela Moss and Kathy Teghtsoonian (eds.). Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2008
  • Shostak Sara, Peter Conrad and Allan Horwitz. "Sequencing and its Consequences: Path Dependence and the Relationship between Genetics and Medicalization." American Journal of Sociology 114. S1 (2008): S287-316.
  • Conrad, Peter. "Eliot Freidson's Revolution in Medical Sociology.." Health 11. (2007): 141-44.
  • Conrad, Peter. The Medicalization of Society: On the Transformation of Human Conditions into Treatable Disorders. Baltimore:: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007.
  • Szymczak, Julia and Peter Conrad ,. "Medicalizing the Aging Male Body: Baldness and Andropause." Medicalized Masculinities,. Ed. Dana Rosenfeld and Christopher Faircloth. Philadelphia:: Temple University Press,, 2006
  • Conrad,Peter. "The Shifting Engines of Medicalization." Journal of Health and Social Behavior (2005): 3-14.
  • Conrad,Peter. Sociology of Health and Illness: Critical Perspectives (7th edition). Worth Publishers, 2005.
  • Conrad,Peter. "Human Growth Hormone and the Temptations of Biomedical Enhancement." Sociology of Health and Illness. Ed. Deborah Potter. Blackwell, 2004. 184-215.
  • Conrad,Peter, Valerie Leiter (eds.). Health and Health Care as Social Problems. Rowman and Littlefield, 2003.
  • Conrad,Peter, co-ed.. The Double-Edged Helix: Social Implications of Genetics in a Diverse Society. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002.
  • Conrad,Peter, co-ed. with Chloe Bird and Allen Fremont. Handbook of Medical Sociology (5th edition). Prentice Hall, 2000.
  • Conrad,Peter. Sociological Perspectives on the New Genetics (co-ed. Jonathan Gabe). Oxford: Blackwell, 1999.
  • Conrad,Peter, co-ed. Eugene Gallagher. Health and Health Care in Developing Countries: Sociological Perspectives. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1993.
  • Conrad,Peter, w/ Joseph W. Schneider. Deviance and Medicalization: From Badness to Sickness. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1992.
  • Conrad,Peter, with Julius Roth. The Experience and Management of Chronic Illness. JAI Press, 1988.
  • Conrad,Peter, with Joseph W. Schneider. Having Epilepsy: The Experience and Control of Illness. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1983.
  • Conrad,Peter. Identifying Hyperactive Children: The Medicalization of Deviant Behavior (expanded edition, forthcoming from Ashgate Publishers, 2006). Lexington: D.C. Heath, 1976.