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Social work and global health inequalitiesPractice and policy developments$
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Paul Bywaters, Eileen McLeod, and Lindsey Napier

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9781847421951

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847421951.001.0001

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Framing health inequalities as targets for social work

Framing health inequalities as targets for social work

(p.135) 10 Framing health inequalities as targets for social work
Social work and global health inequalities
Paul Bywaters, Eileen McLeod, Lindsey Napier
Policy Press

This chapter shows that social work is essentially an interventive discipline and not only pinpoints the adverse impact of social inequalities on health chances and experience, but also how this is an appropriate target for social work. It also highlights specific dimensions of how social-work policy and practice should identify and engage with global health inequalities. Section 10.1 highlights the relationship between health policy and poverty in China. It then discusses the possible application of social-work values and skills in empowering vulnerable groups, especially migrant workers, in dealing with their health needs. Section 10.2 sets out how sexual orientation as a site of health inequality should be integral to social-work analysis and practice addressing global health inequalities. It explores the profound and diverse forms of oppression that lesbian, gay, and bisexual people have suffered and their adverse health consequences. Finally, section 10.3 draws on a neighbourhood initiative from the United States to argue for greater attention by social work to the insidious effects of homelessness on physical health, via psychological stress.

Keywords:   China, United States, social work, social inequalities, health inequalities, health policy, poverty, sexual orientation, homelessness, migrant workers

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