Renée Fox

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Renée C. Fox, a summa cum laude graduate of Smith College in 1949, earned her Ph.D. in Sociology in 1954 from Radcliffe College, Harvard University, where she studied in the Department of Social Relations.

Before joining the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania in 1969, she was a member of the Columbia University Bureau of Applied Social Research, taught for twelve years at Barnard College, and then spent two years as a Visiting Lecturer in the Department of Social Relations at Harvard. At the University of Pennsylvania, she was a professor in the Department of Sociology with joint, secondary appointments in the Departments of Psychiatry and Medicine, and in the School of Nursing; and she held an interdisciplinary chair as the Annenberg Professor of the Social Sciences. From 1972-1978 she was the Chair of the Penn Sociology Department. On July 1, 1998, she became the Annenberg Professor Emerita of the Social Sciences. She is also an Emerita Senior Fellow of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania.

Renée Fox’s major teaching and research interests – sociology of medicine, medical research, medical education, and medical ethics – have involved her in first-hand, participant observation-based studies in Continental Europe (particularly in Belgium), in Central Africa (especially in the Democratic Republic of Congo), and in the People’s Republic of China, as well as in the United States. She has lectured in colleges, universities, and medical schools throughout the United States, and has taught in a number of universities abroad. During the 1996-1997 academic year, she was the George Eastman Visiting Professor at the University of Oxford.

Fox is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and an Honorary Member of Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. She is the holder of a Radcliffe Graduate School Medal, and of a Centennial Medal from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences of Harvard University, and is a recipient of the American Sociological Association’s Leo G. Reeder Award for Distinguished Contributions to Medical Sociology. She has received several teaching awards: an E. Harris Harbison Gifted Teaching Award of the Danforth Foundation, and a Lindback Foundation Award for Teaching at the University of Pennsylvania. She holds eleven honorary degrees, and in 1995, the Belgian Government named her Chevalier of the Order of Leopold II. In October 2007, she was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities.

Publications (selected)[edit]


Fox is the author of a number of academic books, mainly on medical sociology and ethics; some of them have been translated into French or Japanese.

Book chapters

  • Fox, Renée C. (1957). "Chapter 2: Training for Uncertainty". In Merton, Robert K.; Reader, George; Kendall, Patricia L. The Student-Physician: Introductory Studies in the Sociology of Medical Education. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press. pp. 207–241. ISBN 0674846168. 
  • Fox, Renée C. (2000). "Medical Uncertainty Revisited". In Albrecht, Gary L.; Fitzpatrick, Ray; Scrimshaw, Susan C. The Handbook of Social Studies in Health and Medicine. London: Sage Publications. pp. 409–427. ISBN 0761956174. 
    Revised Version in Bendelow, Gillian; Carpenter, Mick; Vautier, Carol; et al., eds. (2002). Gender, Health, and Healing: The Public/Private Divide. London & New York: Routledge. pp. 236–252. ISBN 0415235731. 
  • Leif, Harold I.; Fox, Renée C. (1963). "Training for 'Detached Concern' in Medical Students". In Leif, Harold I.; et al. The Psychological Basis of Medical Practice. New York: Harper and Row. pp. 12–35. ISBN 0761956174. 


  • Fox, RC (May 1962). "The Medical Scientists in a Château". Science. 136 (3515): 476–483. doi:10.1126/science.136.3515.476. PMID 13894391. 
  • de Craemer, W; Vansina, J; Fox, RC (October 1976). "Religious Movements in Central Africa". Comparative Studies in Society and History. 18 (4): 458–475. doi:10.1017/s0010417500008392. 
  • Fox, RC (Winter 1977). "The Medicalization and Demedicalization of American Society". Daedalus. 106 (1): 9–22. PMID 10235991. 
  • Fox, RC (November 1978). "Why Belgium?". European Journal of Sociology. XIX (2): 205–228. doi:10.1017/S0003975600005221. 
  • Blumberg, BS; Fox, RC (March 1985). "The Daedalus Effect: Changes in Ethical Questions Relating to Hepatitis B Virus". Annals of Internal Medicine. 102 (3): 390–394. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-102-3-390. PMID 3155924. 
  • Fox, RC (December 1995). "Medical Humanitarianism and Human Rights: Reflections on Doctors Without Borders and Doctors of the World". Social Science & Medicine. 41 (12): 1607–1626. doi:10.1016/0277-9536(95)00144-v. PMID 8746861. 
  • Fox, RC; Swazey, JP (Spring 1985). "Medical Morality Is Not Bioethics: Medical Ethics in China and the United States". Perspectives in Biology and Medicine. 27 (4): 336–360. PMID 6728631. 
  • Fox, RC (Winter 1996). "Experiment Perilous: Forty-Five Years as a Participant Observer of Patient-Oriented Clinical Research". Perspectives in Biology and Medicine. 39 (2): 206–226. PMID 11644830. 
  • Fox, RC (September 2004). "Observations and Reflections of a Perpetual Fieldworker". Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. 595 (1): 309–326. doi:10.1177/0002716204266635. 


  • Who's Who, 2008

External links[edit]