In an exciting reappraisal of public health and health promotion in contemporary societies, Deborah Lupton shows 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 socio-cultural 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 mass media and advertising in health promotion
- bodies, pleasures and the practices of self in response to health promotion
The Imperative of Health 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 accessible book will be essential reading for students and academics in the sociology of health and illness, health communication, cultural studies, mass communication, medical anthropology and sociology, nursing and public health.