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Over the last decade the promotion of health has become a central feature of health policy at local, national and international levels, forming part of global health initiatives such as those endorsed by the World Health Organisation. At the same time a concern with 'healthy living' has become a preoccupation for many people. The Sociology of Health Promotion responds by offering the first critical sociological account of these developments and locates them within a set of wider socio-cultural changes associated with late modernism. Drawing upon the work of Foucault, Beck, Giddens, Featherstone and others the book presents a theoretical as well as empirical examination of health promotion. The Sociology of Health Promotion offers analyses of contemporary public health policy, lifestyle, consumption, risk and health. It also examines socio-political critiques of health promotion and reflects upon their implications for policy and practice. Substantive topics covered include: the institutional emergence of health promotion at both global and national levels, accidents and the risk society, smoking, HIV/AIDS, ageing, the body, and health-related consumption. A key theme of the collection is that health promotion is emblematic of wider socio-cultural changes. Changes such as the demise of institutional forms of welfare and social control, a blurring of 'expert' and lay knowledge, a heightened collective perception of uncontainable risks, and a shift to a consumer- rather than producer-driven economy. This collection will be invaluable reading for students and social scientists with an interest in health and health policy, health promotors, public health doctors and practitioners engaging in critical reflection upon their professional activities.
Published: 3rd August 1995