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Toward Comprehensive Conceptualizations of Contemporary Public Health

Participation as the Cornerstone of Appropriate Methodologies

Harry Nijhuis

“Positive health,” “comprehensive approaches,” and “participation” have become popular concepts in today’s theoretical public health discourse. Each of these emphasizes a specific component of complex public health issues, which are at stake in

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Forcing Things Together That Are Normally Kept Apart

Public Health Knowledge and Smoking Practice

Simone J. Dennis

In this article I examine some of the consequences of understanding smoking practice in and through an analytic frame that is closely aligned with a public health agenda of smoking cessation. The article is based on ethnographic work conducted for

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Social Capital and Health

Research Findings and Questions on a Modern Public Health Perspective

Ota de Leonardis

This article aims at contributing to the discussion on the features of public health systems consistent with the broader definition of health – broader than the strictly bio-medical one – which is currently accepted in the related literature. The questions it raises are on how social capital influences well-being, and on whether and how it can be recognized and cultivated as a basic resource for health, and integrated into the health systems. In the first part, research literature on the ways health conditions are correlated with both poverty and social capital is briefly discussed. In the second part, several cases on health prevention and rehabilitation programs are analysed in some detail, as they appear to improve the health conditions of a community by investing in its 'social capital'. The main insights are on how to combine social protection with individual agency.

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Confronting Tyranny in a Public Health Agency

Crafting a ‘Philosophy of Praxis’ into a ‘Community of Resistance’

Brian McKenna

Gramsci’s philosophy of praxis is a theory of learning and education. Jean Lave, anthropologist 2012: 159 ) Introduction In June 1998 I was hired by the Ingham County Health Department in Lansing, Michigan to ‘turn the Public Health into the Peoples

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Echoes of austerity

Policy, temporality, and public health in South Africa

Theodore Powers

South Africa’s post-apartheid era has been marked by the continuation of racialized socioeconomic inequality, a social situation produced by earlier periods of settlement, colonization, and apartheid. While the ruling African National Congress has pursued a transformative political agenda, it has done so within the confines of neoliberal macroeconomic policy, including a period of fiscal austerity, which has had limited impact on poverty and inequality. Here, I explore how policy principles associated with austerity travel across time, space, and the levels of the state in South Africa, eventually manifesting in a public health policy that produced cuts to public health services. In assessing these sociopolitical dynamics, I utilize policy process as a chronotope to unify diverse experiences of temporality relative to austerity-inspired public health policy.

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Robin Oakley

The constitution, the law of the land of the modern state, is fertile ground for the Eurocentric imagination of the Canadian polity as a result of the resiliency of Victorian-era sentiments. The ethno-racial hierarchy contained within this political imagery merges well with the public health mandate process of 'othering'. Othering situates the causes of disease and illness in foreign bodies rather than in the social structures of industrial capitalism. Chief among its morbid symptoms, othering produces a sense of alienation in those subjected to it. Sri Lankan Tamils are one of the newer migrant populations who have been subjected to, and have resisted this intrinsically violent othering process. This article examines the Canadian constitution as it relates to ethno-racial classification, and then explores how this scheme is reproduced in common experiences of the public health system and its effects on the health and well-being of Canadian Tamils.

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Gretchen Schafft

Anthropologists who were also medical doctors often had a particularly active role in the Nazi regime, including the SS. One of these, Herbert Grohmann, studied under Eugen Fischer at Kaiser Wilhelm Institut of Anthropologie (KWIA) in Berlin from 1937 to 1938 and became his assistant. Grohmann, an SS officer, was sent to Poland as the head of public health in Lodz while maintaining his association with the KWIA. This article describes the interconnections of anthropology and public health in occupied Poland including the elimination (killing) of mentally ill patients, the implementation of the Deutsche Volksliste and the culling of 'racially fit' children for abduction to Germany. All of these activities are seen through the career of Herbert Grohmann.

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Operationalizing the Theory of Social Quality

Theoretical and Experiential Reflections from the Development and Implementation of a Public Health Programme in the UK

Paul Ward, Paul Redgrave, and Cathy Read

The main purpose of this short paper is to provide reflections on the potential to operationalise the Theory of Social Quality within public health and also on its utility for both public health policy and practice. In addition, we outline the inter-relationships between the theory of social quality and other areas of social theory and social policy. We do not attempt to provide a wide ranging or in-depth critique of social quality as it applies across the board in public health. Rather, we wish to provide an outline of a public health programme (or set of integrated interventions) which is currently running in a location in the UK (called Fit for the Future), and show how the different domains inherent within social quality may be operationalised.

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The correct secret

Discretion and hypertransparency in Chinese biosecurity

Katherine A. Mason

in newspapers under foreboding headlines rife with battle metaphors. Public health officials dressed in biohazard suits swarmed airports and public events. They pointed fever guns at foreheads and whisked away those with elevated temperatures to

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Bayla Ostrach

high-quality providers, and awareness of abortion care options – each and together ultimately determine access to and quality of abortion care ( Barot 2011 ; Boonstra 2007 ; Ostrach 2014a , 2016 ). The global public health burden resulting from