1st Edition

Critical Perspectives in Public Health

Edited By Judith Green, Ronald Labonté Copyright 2008
    264 Pages 8 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    This book explores the concept of ‘critical’ public health, at a point when many of its core concerns appear to have moved to the mainstream of health policy. Issues such as addressing health inequalities and their socioeconomic determinants, and the inclusion of public voices in policy-making, are now emerging as key policy aims for health systems across Europe and North America.

    Combining analytical introductory chapters, edited versions of influential articles from the journal Critical Public Health and specially commissioned review articles, this volume examines the contemporary roles of ‘critical voices’ in public health research and practice from a range of disciplines and contexts. The book covers many of the pressing concerns for public health practitioners and researchers including:

    • the implications of new genetic technologies for public health
    • the impact of globalization on local practice
    • the politics of citizen participation in health programmes
    • the impact of car-centred transport systems on health
    • the ethics of evaluation methods and the persistence of health inequalities.

    Critical Perspectives in Public Health is organized into sections covering four key themes in public health: social inequalities; evidence for practice; globalization; technologies and the environment. With contributions from a range of countries including the United States, Canada, the UK, Australia and South Africa, it provides an accessible overview for students, practitioners and researchers in public health, health promotion, health policy and related fields.

    Section 1: Introduction  1. Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue: Public Health in the Twenty-First Century  Section 2: Unfair Cases: Social Inequalities in Health  2. Introduction  3. Social Capital and the Third Way in Public Health  4. Poverty, Policy and Pathogenesis: Economic Justice and Public Health  5. HIV Infection in Women: Social Inequalities as Determinants of Risk  Section 3: Making Traces: Evidence for Practice and Evaluation  6. Introduction  7. Strong Theory, Flexible Methods: Evaluating Complex Community-Based Initiatives  8. Tackling Health Inequalities through Partnership Working: Learning from a Realistic Evaluation  9. Using Theory-Based Evaluation to Build Evidence-Based Health and Social Care Policy and Practice  10. Evaluating Evidence and Making Judgements of Study Quality: Loss of Evidence and Risks to Policy and Practice Decisions  Section 4: Colonising Places: Public Health and Globalisation  11. Introduction  12. The Politics of Female Genital Surgery in Displaced Communities  13. International Governance and World Trade Organization (WTO) Reform  14. Medicine Keepers: Issues in Indigenous Health  15. Equity, Democracy and Globalisation  Section 5: Edgy Spaces: Policy, Technology and the Public Health  16. Introduction  17. Moving Bodies: Injury, Disease and the Social Organisation of Space  18. Antibiotic Resistance: An Exemplary Case of Medical Nemesis  19. Introductions to Special Issue on Genetics  20. Passionate Epistemology, Critical Advocacy, and Public Health: Doing our Profession Proud


    Ronald Labonte is a Canada Research Chair in Globalization and Health Equity at the Institute of Population Health and Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Community Medicine, University of Ottawa, Canada. Judith Green is Senior Lecturer in Sociology in the Department of Public Health and Policy, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, UK.

    ‘The introductory sections are excellent—thorough and analytical. The chapters are in the main very readable and thought-provoking, and an encouragement to the development of new and more critical thinking around some well-worn public health topics.’ - European Journal of Public Health