Environmental justice and health practices: understanding how health inequities arise at the local level

Frohlich, Katherine L; Abel, Thomas (2014). Environmental justice and health practices: understanding how health inequities arise at the local level. SOCIOLOGY OF HEALTH & ILLNESS, 36(2), pp. 199-212. Wiley-Blackwell 10.1111/1467-9566.12126

[img] Text
Fröhlich SociolHealthIlln 2013.pdf - Accepted Version
Restricted to registered users only
Available under License Publisher holds Copyright.

Download (231kB) | Request a copy
[img] Text
Frohlich SociolHealthIlln 2014.pdf - Published Version
Restricted to registered users only
Available under License Publisher holds Copyright.

Download (235kB) | Request a copy

While empirical evidence continues to show that people living in low socio-economic status neighbourhoods are less likely to engage in health-enhancing behaviour, our understanding of why this is so remains less than clear. We suggest that two changes could take place to move from description to understanding in this field; (i) a move away from the established concept of individual health behaviour to a contextualised understanding of health practices; and (ii) a switch from focusing on health inequalities in outcomes to health inequities in conditions. We apply Pierre Bourdieu's theory on capital interaction but find it insufficient with regard to the role of agency for structural change. We therefore introduce Amartya Sen's capability approach as a useful link between capital interaction theory and action to reduce social inequities in health-related practices. Sen's capability theory also elucidates the importance of discussing unequal chances in terms of inequity, rather than inequality, in order to underscore the moral nature of inequalities. We draw on the discussion in social geography on environmental injustice, which also underscores the moral nature of the spatial distribution of opportunities. The article ends by applying this approach to the 'Interdisciplinary study of inequalities in smoking' framework.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine

UniBE Contributor:

Abel, Thomas

Subjects:

600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 360 Social problems & social services

ISSN:

0141-9889

Publisher:

Wiley-Blackwell

Language:

English

Submitter:

Doris Kopp Heim

Date Deposited:

23 Jan 2014 16:42

Last Modified:

13 Oct 2017 15:20

Publisher DOI:

10.1111/1467-9566.12126

PubMed ID:

24372359

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Bourdieu, Sen, environmental justice, health practices, social inequity

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.40030

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/40030

Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback