In a reappraisal of public health and health promotion in contemporary societies, Deborah Lupton puts forward that health cannot be understood simply as the presence or absence of disease - rather, it represents a moral imperative that is embedded in social and cultural norms and expressed in public policies. Using sociocultural and political theory, the author analyzes the implications of the new social theories for the study of health promotion and communication. Combining sociological, anthropological, historical and cultural studies approaches, she analyzes the symbolic nature of public health practices and explores their underlying meanings and assumptions. Key topics include: the history and emergence of the public health movement; contemporary health promotion and public health strategies; risk discourse and diagnostic testing; the use of the mass media and advertising in health promotion; bodies, pleasures and the practices of self in response to health promotion.
This work seeks to explore the ways in which some of the knowledge and practices of public health and health promotion have been developed and articulated, how they are justified, what ends they seek and their alliances and dependencies. This book should be useful reading for students and academics in the sociology of health and illness, health communication, cultural studies, mass communications, medical anthropology and sociology, nursing and public health.
`This consideration of public health and health promotion is worth a read - certainly it is a valuable complement to the more established texts critiquing the practices of clinical medicine. The book considers many practices which are familiar features of everyday life, and I think it will be enjoyed by any reader with a general interest in health and society' - Public Understanding of Science
`Anyone in the public health industry who wants to stand back and ask fundamental questions about what they are doing and the way they are directly or indirectly affecting people at the personal level should read this book' - European Journal of Public Health
`A fine scholarly work that brings together some very interesting and thought-provoking analyses. The books strengths, namely its scholarly approach and critical thinking, well serve its audience of academics and students' - Doody's Health Science Book Review Journal
`A good history of public health developments, primarily in Australia and England, the book is a continuation of debate among health education profession over the status of any or all health education "truths"' - Choice
`An important contribution to the educational critique of public health programs' - Social History of Medicine