Successful Societies: How Institutions and Culture Affect Health

Hall, Peter A.

Why are some types of societies more successful than others at promoting individual and collective well-being? Focusing on population health as an indicator of social success, this book opens up new perspectives on the ways in which social relations condition health and the public policies that address it. Based on four years of dialogue among scholars from diverse disciplines, it offers social epidemiologists broader views of the social determinants of health and social scientists a sense of the fascinating puzzles of population health. The chapters consider health inequalities in the developing, as well as developed, world. They locate their roots, not only in economic resources, but in the social resources provided by the institutions and cultural repertoires constitutive of social relations. They examine the AIDS epidemic in Africa, the sources of the health gradient, the role of collective imaginaries, destigmatization strategies, and the historical basis for effective health policies.

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