Activism is action on behalf of a cause, action that goes beyond what is conventional or routine and is relative to the actions by others.
Health activism is a growing area of interest for many who work to improve health at both national and international levels because it offers a more direct approach to achieve lasting social and political change. This book, for the first time, provides a clear foundation to the theory, evidence-base and strategies that can be harnessed to bring about change to improve the lives and health of others.
For anyone working to improve the health of groups and communities, this will be thought-provoking reading. It has particular relevance for postgraduate students and practitioners in public health and health promotion.
Chapter 1: Foundations of Health Activism
Foundations of Health Activism
Activism is action on behalf of a cause, action that goes beyond what is conventional or routine (Martin, 2007). What constitutes activism depends therefore on what is ‘conventional’ as any action is relative to others used by individuals, groups and organisations in society. For example, where free speech is respected and protected, posting an email complaining about the government is a routine occurrence. But in an oppressive political system such an action might be seen as subversive and punishable. Likewise, singing in a choir is not activism, but singing as a protest, for example in a prison, can be. Activist actions must therefore go beyond conventional behaviour. However, in practice, organisations employ a combination of both conventional and ...