Despite a culture pervaded by the language of health (e.g., buzz phrases like healthy living, healthy eating, healthy environments), there are many mysteries surrounding the pursuit of health and wellness. Health is often a very personal matter, protected by privacy law. Health is distributed unequally in society, as are the conditions necessary for wellness. Health is increasingly medicalized, with the goal of making people healthy lost in anxiety over the threat of illness and the need for treatments, both biomedical and alternative. In applying the sociological imagination, Pursuing Health and Wellness: Healthy Societies, Healthy People unravels these mysteries and, in an approach consistent with a shift in health sociology itself, goes beyond an examination of health as simply the absence of disease to explore the many factors that shape health and wellness. Authors Alexander Segall and Christopher Fries have constructed a three-pronged approach to this study. Part One of the text establishes the sociological foundations of the discipline and looks at health as a social construct.
Part Two goes on to look at the social determinants of health and critically analyzes the structural and behavioural factors that influence it. Part Three examines the informal and formal components of the health-care system as well as models for measuring health, all the while considering personal, professional, and public responsibilities in the pursuit of health and wellness.
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Canada