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 9: Networks and Activism
Networks and Activism
Working with Networks
A network is a structure of relationships linking social actors (Wasserman and Faust, 1994) that in turn are the building blocks of human experience, mapping the connections that individuals have to one another (Pescosolido, 1991). Social structures are not based therefore on categorisations such as age, gender or race but on the actual nature of the social contacts that individuals have and the impact on people's lives (White, 1992). There are basic principles that underlie a network approach and that can guide their development:
- Network interactions influence beliefs and attitudes as well as behaviour, action, and outcomes.
- Individuals both act and react to the social networks in their environment.
- Structural elements (size, density, or types of relationships) of ...