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Kaufman, Jay S. (2002). "P.C., M.D.": D.O.A., R.I.P.. Society, 39(4), 21-24.


A clever but disingenuous debater may set up a "straw man," a weak argument attributed to an opponent that can be easily demolished in order to score a showy victory. It is clear that Sally Satel has set up such a "straw man" in devoting her essay largely to countering the impossible thesis that social structure is the sole determinant of health status. I know of no researcher in the field of public health who believes that individual behavior plays no role; after all, every school of public health maintains a department of health behavior. Nonetheless, Satel is consumed with the task of demonstrating the obvious, that individuals take part in helping to shape their immediate environment. In battling with this "straw man" of a thesis, the striking thing about Satel's attack is that she does such a muddled and confused job of attempting to refute it.


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Kaufman, Jay S.