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Social inequality and public health$
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Salvatore J. Babones

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9781847423207

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847423207.001.0001

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(p.1) One Introduction
Social inequality and public health

Salvatore J. Babones

Policy Press

This volume is organised around four pathways identified in the new public health of the twenty-first century as mechanisms through which social inequality affects public health. They are considered in four sections arranged in order from least to most controversial. The first section examines how individual choices can be shaped by the alternatives offered in the environments in which people live. The second section aggregates environments like those examined in the first section into larger syndromes affecting broad groups in society. The third section leaps to an analytical level where the proximate cause of individual health is hypothesised to operate at the social level. The fourth section debates on the more expansive hypothesis that entire societies can possess more or less healthy social structures. A concluding section addresses the public understanding of the new public health.

Keywords:   public health, social inequality, healthy societies, individual health, health behaviours

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