Social Inequality and Public Health

Edited by Salvatore Babones

Social Inequality and Public Health
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Edited by Salvatore Babones

Distributed for Policy Press at the University of Bristol

243 pages | 7 x 9 1/2 | © 2009
Paper $39.95 ISBN: 9781847423207 Published April 2009 For sale in North and South America only
Public health in the early 21st century increasingly considers how social inequalities impact on individual health, moving away from the focus on how disease relates to the individual person. This 'new public health' identifies how social, economic and political factors affect the level and distribution of individual health, through their effects on individual behaviours, the social groups people belong to, the character of relationships to others and the characteristics of the societies in which people live. The rising social inequalities that can be seen in nearly every country in the world today present not just a moral danger, but a mortal danger as well. "Social inequality and public health" brings together the latest research findings from some of the most respected medical and social scientists in the world. It surveys four pathways to understanding the social determinants of health: differences in individual health behaviours; group advantage and disadvantage; psychosocial factors in individual health; and healthy and unhealthy societies, shedding light on the costs and consequences of today's high-inequality social models. This exciting book brings together leaders in the field discussing their latest research and is a must-read for anyone interested in public health and social inequalities internationally.
List of figures, tables, maps and boxes
Notes on contributors

1. Introduction
      Salvatore J. Babones
Pathway 1: Differences in individual health behaviours
2. The role of time preference and perspective in socioeconomic inequalities in health-related behaviours
      Jean Adams
3. Examination of the built environment and prevalence of obesity: neighbourhood characteristics, food purchasing venues, green space and distribution of Body Mass Index
      Tamara Dubowitz, Theresa L. Osypuk and Kristen Kurland
4. Reinventing healthy and sustainable communities: reconnecting public health and urban planning
      Mary E. Northridge, Elliott D. Sclar, Annie Feighery, Maryann Z. Fiebach and Emily Karpel Kurtz
Pathway 2: Group advantage and disadvantage
5. How and why do interventions that increase health overall widen inequalities within populations?
      Martin White, Jean Adams and Peter Heywood
6. The metaphor of the miner’s canary and black–white disparities in health: a review of intergenerational socioeconomic factors and perinatal outcomes
      Debbie Barrington
7. From adversary to ally: the evolution of non-governmental organisations in the context of health reform in Santiago and Montevideo
      Javier Pereira Bruno and Ronald Angel
Pathway 3: Psychosocial factors in individual health
8. Health inequalities and the role of psychosocial work factors: the Whitehall II Study
      Eric Brunner
9. Inequality, psychosocial health and societal health: a model of inter-group conflict
      Siddharth Chandra
10. The social epidemiology of population health during the  time of transition from communism in Central and Eastern Europe
      Arjumand Siddiqi, Martin Bobak and Clyde Hertzman
Pathway 4: Healthy and unhealthy societies
11. The impact of inequality: empirical evidence
      Richard Wilkinson
12. ‘Public goods,’ metropolitan inequality and population health in comparative perspective: policy and theory
      James R. Dunn and Nancy A. Ross
13. Inequality and health: models for moving from science to policy
      Salvatore J. Babones
Conclusions: Public understanding of the new public health
14. Promoting public understanding of population health
      Stephen Bezruchka
15. Health, inequalities and mobilisation: human rights and the Millennium Development Goals
      Paul Nelson
16. What the public needs to know about social inequality and public health
      Salvatore J. Babones

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