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 5: Activism and the Social Determinants of Health
Activism and the Social Determinants of Health
The Social Determinants of Health
Health issues are often framed around the diseases that cause ill health and become further personalised by focusing on the ‘struggle’ against disease. In public health programmes, this is translated into interventions to motivate people to adopt healthy lifestyles and to change their ‘unhealthy’ behaviours. This in turn reinforces the importance of personal choice, personal responsibility and an emphasis on self-blame for one's powerless circumstances and poor state of health. The way in which society is structured, institutionalised and the inequities that this can create are not seen as a key part of the problem. Public health issues such as drug abuse, homelessness and social exclusion continue to ...