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Health Inequality: An Introduction to Concepts, Theories and Methods, 2nd Edition



Health Inequality: An Introduction to Concepts, Theories and Methods, 2nd Edition

Mel Bartley

ISBN: 978-0-745-69109-1 November 2016 Polity 264 Pages


At a time when social inequalities are increasing at an alarming rate, this new edition of Mel Bartley’s popular book is a vital resource for understanding the extent of health inequalities and why they are proving to be persistent despite decades of growing knowledge and policies on the issue.

As in the first edition, by examining influences of social class, income, culture and wealth as well as gender, ethnicity and other factors in identity, this accessible book provides a key to understanding the major theories and explanations of what lies behind inequality in health. Bartley re-situates the classic behavioural, psycho-social, and material approaches within a life-course perspective. Evaluating the evidence of health outcomes over time and at local and national levels, Bartley argues that individual social integration demands closer attention if health inequality is to be tackled effectively, revealing the important part that identity plays in relation to the chances of a long and healthy life.

Health Inequality will be essential reading for students taking courses in the sociology of health and illness, social policy and welfare, health sciences, public health and epidemiology and all those interested in understanding the consequences of social inequality for health.

Introduction to the 2nd Edition

Chapter 1 What is Social Inequality?

Chapter 2 What is Health Inequality?

Chapter 3 Figuring Out Health Inequality

Chapter 4 Explanatory Models I: Behavioural and 'Cultural' Explanations

Chapter 5 Explanatory Models II: Psycho-Social Factors

Chapter 6 Explanatory Models III: Materialist Explanations

Chapter 7 Macro-social models

Chapter 8 Gender and Inequality in Health

Chapter 9 Ethnic Inequalities in Health

Chapter 10. Health Inequality in the Life Course

Chapter 11 The Way Forward for Research and Policy Debate

- Fully assesses the changing landscape of work in this area since the publication of the first edition
- Refocuses attention onto the individual, arguing that more attention here is the only effective way to remove health inequalities
- Completely updated with new data and evidence, and how this shapes theories of health inequalities
"The new edition of Mel Bartley’s excellent, well-written book should be relevant to anyone interested in understanding and addressing the persisting challenge of social inequalities in health. Congratulations on an inspiring, timely and critical contribution!" - Johannes Siegrist, Heinrich-Heine University Düsseldorf

"This new edition of Mel Bartley’s classic book has the authoritative heft of one of the western world’s most respected medical sociologists. Her great personal depth of expertise comes across throughout the volume, and the book demonstrates a tight grasp of the conceptual and social theory issues that should underpin high-quality research into health inequalities. The book’s newly updated national and international data on health inequalities are especially welcome." - John Frank, University of Edinburgh