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Perspect Biol Med. 2016;59(4):547-561. doi: 10.1353/pbm.2016.0047.

Situating Social Differences in Health and Illness Practices.


This article suggests that in order to understand the social differences evident in disease prevalence and outcomes, it is necessary to understand what it means to live with multiple social, physical, and psychological challenges. Drawing on research in cancer diagnosis, we discuss practices of health, illness, and care-seeking. We suggest that the focus on lifestyle and behavioral change that dominates contemporary public health interventions should be complemented with a Weberian circumstantial approach. Acknowledging the situatedness of health and illness practices may enable us to help our patients gain access to, and benefit from, the health-care system.


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