ABOUT THIS BOOK
- The first comprehensive assessment of epidemiological theories concerning the major drivers of group differences in health by race, class, and place
- Provides a thorough history of the debates surrounding diverse epidemiologic theories, unearthing new insights
- Blends social, biological, political, and ecological factors into a multifaceted and comprehensive look at epidemiologic theory as a rich tapestry
- Illuminates various fascinating ancient cultural traditions from around the world and how they have led to the development of modern epidemiology
Epidemiology is often referred to as the science of public health. However, unlike other major sciences, its theoretical foundations are rarely articulated. While the idea of epidemiologic theory may seem dry and arcane, it is at its core about explaining the people's health. It is about life and death. It is about biology and society. It is about ecology and the economy. It is about how myriad aspects of people's lives—involving work, dignity, desire, love, play, conflict, discrimination, and injustice—become literally incorporated into our bodies and manifest in our health status, individually and collectively. And it is about essential knowledge critical for improving the people's health and minimizing inequitable burdens of disease, disability, and death.
Woven from a vast array of schools of thought, including those in the natural, social, and biomedical sciences, epidemiologic theory is a rich tapestry whose time for analysis is long overdue. By tracing its history and contours from ancient societies on through the development of—and debates within—contemporary epidemiology worldwide, Dr. Krieger shows how epidemiologic theory has long shaped epidemiologic practice, knowledge, and the politics of public health. Outlining an ecosocial theory of disease distribution that situates both population health and epidemiologic theory in societal and ecologic context, she offers a more holistic picture of how we embody the human experience.
Readership: Graduate students, undergraduate students, public health professionals
Nancy Krieger is Professor of Social Epidemiology Health. She received her Ph.D. in Epidemiology from the University of California at Berkeley in 1989. In 1994 she co-founded, and still chairs, the Spirit of 1848 Caucus of the American Public Health Association, which is concerned with the links between social justice and public health.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Chapter 1: Does Epidemiologic Theory Exist? On Science. Data, and Explaining
Chapter 2: Health in the Balance: Early Theories About Patterns of
Chapter 3: Epidemiology Emerges: Early Theories and Debating Determinants of
Disease Distribution-Poison. Filth, Class, & Race ( 1600-1900)
Chapter 4: Epidemiology Expands: Germs, Genes. and the (Social)
Environment ( 1900-1950)
Chapter 5: Contemporary Mainstream Epidemiologic Theory:
Biomedical and Lifestyle
Chapter 6: Social Epidemiologic Alternatives: Sociopolitical
and Psychosocial Frameworks
Chapter 7: Ecosocial Theory of Disease Distribution: Embodying
Societal & Ecologic Context
Chapter 8: Epidemiologic Theory Counts: Harm, Knowledge,
Action, and the People's Health