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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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Inequality and health: models for moving from science to policy

Inequality and health: models for moving from science to policy

(p.184) (p.185) Thirteen Inequality and health: models for moving from science to policy
Social inequality and public health

Salvatore J. Babones

Policy Press

More equal societies exhibit longer life expectancy than less equal societies. This implies that societies could potentially become healthier through reductions in inequality, but the micro-level mechanisms through which this could be accomplished are not obvious. This chapter argues that reducing the harshness of today's rationalised workplaces would both improve health and reduce inequality at the same time. A long tradition of research on social structure and personality notes that work conditions affect the worker's self. It is reasonable to surmise that working conditions thus affect health through their effects on the self; this suggests that the appropriate location for policy intervention is the workplace. With improved health being the ultimate goal, policy mechanisms such as better workplaces, greater leisure time, and more cohesive societies are also worthwhile goals.

Keywords:   social inequality, equal societies, population health, improved health, better workplaces

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