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Staying Alive: Critical Perspectives on Health, Illness, and Health Care [Paperback]

Dennis Raphael , Toba Bryant , Marcia Rioux
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

April 1 2006 1551302969 978-1551302966 1

Staying Alive provides a fresh perspective on the issues surrounding health, health care, and illness. In addition to the traditional approaches of health sciences and the sociology of health, this book shows the impact that human rights issues and political economy have on health. This provocative volume takes up these issues as they occur in Canada and the United States within a wider international context. No other book takes such an in-depth look at the construction of health care and illness internationally.

This unique contributed volume also contains chapters on issues of pharmaceutical policy, social exclusion, gender and care, the social construction of illness and disability, and approaches to promoting population health that include insights into the impact of economic forces such as globalization and privatization on health care and other health issues.

With its emphasis on political economy and power distribution in a global perspective, Staying Alive will become essential reading for those with an interest in the relationship between human rights and health.


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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Concerns about health and the health care system have reached a fever pitch in Canada in recent years. The public is subjected to a daily onslaught of media stories about the causes and treatment of disease and the threats to the sustainability of the Canadian health care system. Traditionally, the study of health has been informed by a variety of perspectives that for too long have been isolated from each other and from an explicit concern with having findings applied to solving the health problems identified by research.
Much of the isolation can be attributed to the nature of the disciplines that have evolved to ask and answer questions about health, illness, and the health care system. Epidemiology has been the primary tool wielded by the medical profession in quest of the causes of disease and illness. Its application however, has been narrow, with little appreciation of the complex of political, economic, and social factors that set the state for the onset of disease and illness. The emerging field of social epidemiology is a favourable counterweight to this tradition.
Sociology has made major contributions to understanding the causes of illness and the experience by different groups of disease and illness by casting a wider net for the factors that explain health, illness, and the organization of health services. It has however, been less concerned with identifying the forces that drive these different experiences of health and illness. Like epidemiology, there has been relatively little penetration of concepts and understanding into the sociology of health from the study of public policy and its implications for solving the problems epidemiologists and sociologists identify.
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