• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

This is the first international and inter-disciplinary social science Handbook on health and medicine. Five years in the making, and building on the insights and advice of an international editorial board, the book brings together world-class figures to provide an indispensable, comprehensive resource book on social science, health and medicine. Pinpointing the focal issues of research and debate in one volume, the material is organized into three sections: social and cultural frameworks of analysis; the experience of health and illness; and health care systems and practices. Each section consists of specially commissioned chapters designed to examine the vital conceptual and methodological practice and policy issues.

The Global Emergence of Disability
The global emergence of disability
Introduction

Disability is a major contemporary theme in health policy and programs, and a commonplace experience in people's lives. Its rise in public attention and personal experience is due to several factors: increases in life expectancy and thus rising lifetime chances of chronic illness and dysfunction, interventions that extend the lives of disabled persons, environmental exposures and unhealthy lifestyles, organized advocacy on behalf of disabled persons, and expanded social and political definitions of disability (Institute of Medicine, Board on International Health 1997; LaPlante and Carlson 1995). In contrast to several decades ago, people are likely to encounter disabled persons in public places, to have a disabled family member or friend, and to experience disability themselves. The financial ...

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