Social, Political and Cultural Dimensions of Health

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Springer, May 9, 2016 - Social Science - 247 pages
This book comprehensively explores social, political and cultural dimensions of health in contemporary society. It addresses many issues and pertinent questions, including the following: Are we over diagnosed and over medicated? How can patients participate in their own care? Do pharmaceutical companies coerce us into medication regimes? What drives inequalities in health outcomes? What is the experience of health care for indigenous communities? Why do different countries have such different health care systems? How do we respond to life-changing conditions? Can we achieve a ‘good death’? How do new genetics shape our identities? Is public health a force of liberation or disempowerment? The book incorporates the range of levels of influence on health, covering individual patient experiences, the health professions, multinational corporations, the state, global organisations as well as examining trends in social organisation, cultural expression and technological developments. It volume provides an accessible, yet in-depth, overview and discussion of the sociology of health. The chapters include an illustrative case study and further readings relating to the topic.

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Health Consumers and the Clinical Encounter
Material Conditions and Health Inequalities
Gender and Ethnicity in Health
The Health of Indigenous Communities
Institutions of Health Care
Health Care Work and Everyday Health Work
Medicalization and Contested Illnesses
Disability and Chronic Illness
Aging Dying and Death
Sexuality Sexual Behavior and Gender
Mental Health
Technology and Health
Promoting Public Health
Health and the Mass Media
Concluding Comments


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About the author (2016)

Kevin Dew, PhD, is professor of sociology at Victoria University of Wellington, and before that was a lecturer in public health at the Wellington School of Medicine and Health Sciences. He is a founding member of the Applied Research on Communication in Health (ARCH) group. Current research activities include studies of interactions between health professionals and patients, and the social meanings of medications, which are supported by research grants from major funding bodies. He is on the international advisory boards of Sociology of Health and Illness and Critical Public Health, the editorial boards of The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health and New Zealand Sociology and is an associate editor of Kotuitui, the New Zealand Royal Society social science journal. His authored books include The Cult and Science of Public Health: A Sociological Investigation, Borderland practices: Regulating Alternative Therapy in New Zealand, and Sociology of Health in New Zealand (with Allison Kirkman) and was a co-editor of the following publications: Health Inequalities in Aotearoa New Zealand (edited with Anna Matheson) Health and society in Aotearoa New Zealand (edited with Peter Davis) and Challenging Science: Issues for New Zealand Society in the 21st Century (edited with Ruth Fitzgerald).

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