Health social movements address several issues: (a) access to, or provision of, health care services; (b) disease, illness experience, disability and contested illness;…
Health social movements address several issues: (a) access to, or provision of, health care services; (b) disease, illness experience, disability and contested illness; and/or (c) health inequality and inequity based on race, ethnicity, gender, class and/or sexuality. These movements have challenged a variety of authority structures in society, resulting in massive changes in the health care system. While many other social movements challenge medical authority, a rapidly growing type of health social movement, “embodied health movements” (EHMs), challenge both medical and scientific authority. Embodied health movements do this in three ways: (1) they make the body central to social movements, especially with regard to the embodied experience of people with the disease; (2) they typically include challenges to existing medical/scientific knowledge and practice; and (3) they often involve activists collaborating with scientists and health professionals in pursuing treatment, prevention, research, and expanded funding. We present a conceptual framework for understanding embodied health movements as simultaneously challenging authority structures and allying with them, and offer the environmental breast cancer movement as an exemplar case.
This paper contributes to emerging discourse about social movements in social marketing by examining how tensions, issues and challenges may arise in areas of social…
This paper contributes to emerging discourse about social movements in social marketing by examining how tensions, issues and challenges may arise in areas of social change that have attracted social movements and the ways actors can come together to drive inclusive social change agendas.
Through the lens of new social movement theory, a case study of the interactions and dynamics between fat activists and obesity prevention public health actors is examined. This is undertaken through a multi-method qualitative analysis of interview and archival blog data of fat activists located in Australia, which was compared with the campaign materials and formative and evaluative research related to two high profile Australian Government funded anti-obesity campaigns.
The case analysis highlights the disconnect between public health actors and the marginalized voices of those they are meant to be representing. Whilst public health actors characterise obesity as a social issue of individual responsibility, disease and rational-decision making; fat activists frame a competing collective identity of well-being, support and self-acceptance that characterise their social change efforts.
This research highlights how complexities arise but can potentially be overcome in creating inclusive social change coalitions that incorporate the voices of citizen groups whom have mobilised into social movements. Specifically, we highlight the importance of generating a common language around obesity, the significance of collaborative and supportive relations and the need to create common unity through emotional investment and returns - a departure from the highly rational approaches taken by most social change programs.
Obesity is a complex social issue marked by conflict and contestation between those who are obese and the very actors working to support them. Our research contends that creating an inclusive social change coalition between these stakeholders will require a shift towards language anchored in well-being as opposed to disease, relations defined by support as opposed to an emphasis on individual responsibility and emotional investments that work to bolster self-acceptance in place of rational appeals as to the “correct” behaviours one should chose to engage in. Such steps will ensure social change program design is collaborative and incorporates the lived experiences of the very citizens such initiatives are targeted towards.
We contribute to wider discussions in social marketing about the development of holistic and progressive, multi-stakeholder, multi-level programs by advocating that inclusive social change coalitions united through the collective identity elements of cognitions and language, relational ties and emotional investment offer an important step forward in tackling the wicked problems that social marketers work to address.
Purpose – This study identifies the multiple contributions of the Salvadoran women's movement in sustaining mass mobilization under the threat of public health care privatization.
Methodology/approach – A case study methodological approach shows how the emergence of an autonomous women's movement in El Salvador in the late 1980s and early 1990s “spilled over” (Meyer & Whittier, 1994) to assist in the maintenance of the health care campaigns in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Findings – We observed three arenas in which the women's movement played pivotal roles in the anti-health care privatization struggle: (1) women-based organizations; (2) leadership positions within larger coalitions brokering the participation of diverse social sectors; and (3) key advocacy roles inside the state. These three contributions of the women's movement increased the overall level of mobilization and success against health care privatization.
Research limitations – The study centered on one major group of health care consumers. The role of other civic organizations should be examined in future research.
Originality/value of chapter – The study demonstrates that in the era of globalization, women's movements form a critical part of the social movement sector facilitating the construction of large coalitions protecting consumers from neoliberal restructuring in areas such as public health care.
Purpose – This research considers how self-help groups (SHGs) and self-help organizations (SHOs) contribute to consumerist trends in two different societies: United States…
Purpose – This research considers how self-help groups (SHGs) and self-help organizations (SHOs) contribute to consumerist trends in two different societies: United States and United Kingdom. How do the health care systems and the voluntary sectors affect the kinds of social changes that SHGs/SHOs make?
Methodology/approach – A review of research on the role of SHGs/SHOs in contributing to national health social movements in the UK and US was made. Case studies of the UK and the US compare the characteristics of their health care systems and their voluntary sector. Research reviews of two community level self-help groups in each country describe the kinds of social changes they made.
Findings – The research review verified that SHGs/SHOs contribute to national level health social movements for patient consumerism. The case studies showed that community level SHGs/SHOs successfully made the same social changes but on a smaller scale as the national movements, and the health care system affects the kinds of community changes made.
Research limitations – A limited number of SHGs/SHOs within only two societies were studied. Additional SHGs/SHOs within a variety of societies need to be studied.
Originality/value of chapter – Community SHGs/SHOs are often trivialized by social scientists as just inward-oriented support groups, but this chapter shows that local groups contribute to patient consumerism and social changes but in ways that depend on the kind of health care system and societal context.
This paper examines whether affiliation strategies used by social movement organizations to establish institutional linkages assure survival. Several streams within both…
This paper examines whether affiliation strategies used by social movement organizations to establish institutional linkages assure survival. Several streams within both social movement and organization theories suggest contrasting expectations. Two core research questions are proposed: how does strategic affiliation, as well as increasing legitimation, alter social movement organizations’ longevity, and how does the evolution of the movement condition these dynamics? Our answer focuses on the self-help/mutual-aid movement and the institutionalization of national self-help/mutual-aid organizations. Analyses comparing economic, political and symbolic means of survival at the population-of-organizations level and organizational level, and across the history of the movement, show that professional and political alliances and legitimation impact the longevity of self-help/mutual-aid organizations in unexpected ways. For instance, as the number of political alliances at the population level increases, the likelihood of organizational survival declines, although political alliances at the individual organizational level are beneficial for an organization. These relationships change dramatically as the movement matures. Implications for integrating social movement and organizations theories are discussed.
This chapter examines how people weigh and discuss opportunities for collective action to improve community health. Drawing from research on civic and social movement…
This chapter examines how people weigh and discuss opportunities for collective action to improve community health. Drawing from research on civic and social movement engagement, it focuses specifically on how cultural logics of pragmatism, activism, and cynicism are invoked in such debates.
Qualitative data come from four focus group discussions of strategies for reducing tobacco use in Atlanta’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities. Participants included 36 self-identified community members.
Pragmatic logics were used most often in evaluating the tobacco control strategies, with activist logics second and cynicism a distant third. This echoes prior research, but our participants used these logics in unexpected ways: they combined pragmatism and activism, downplaying the former’s emphasis on individual self-interest and the latter’s emphasis on contentious confrontation. In addition, use of the logics varied by focus group and strategy, but not with individual speaker’s identities.
Though limited by a narrow demographic focus and small convenience sample, our study suggests that public support for community health initiatives will likely depend on how they are framed and on the interactional dynamics and shared identities of the groups they are presented to.
Logics of pragmatism, activism, and cynicism inform debate over community health initiatives, as with other forms of civic action. However, use of these logics is not uniform but varies with the groups and issues at hand. Our study participants’ mutual LGBT identification gave them a sense of shared community and a familiarity with the politicization of personal life that led them to combine pragmatist and activist logics in novel ways.
The objectives of this paper are to describe the “affordable drugs movement” and present a social marketing framework to place major developments within a meaningful…
The objectives of this paper are to describe the “affordable drugs movement” and present a social marketing framework to place major developments within a meaningful theoretical context.
Specific examples are used to illustrate the framework and its utility in understanding the complexities of the pharmaceutical market. Methods to research the dynamics of the market are also presented.
Provides referenced descriptions and examples of forces causing change within the pharmaceutical market. Classifies forces into six conditions influencing successful social movements: structural conduciveness, structural strains, growth of generalized beliefs, precipitating events, mobilization for action, and utilization of social control by opponents. Suggests social research methodologies to study the conditions in greater depth.
This is a descriptive framework that has not been validated for its use in the pharmaceutical market.
Offers a useful framework for academics, managers, students, and individuals to classify and study developments in the pharmaceutical industry.
This paper provides an overview of major forces within the pharmaceutical market and offers direction for those who wish to explore it in greater detail.
Explains that Health for All is an international extra‐governmental movement that seeks to pursue equity in access to health‐related resources by broadening the scope of…
Explains that Health for All is an international extra‐governmental movement that seeks to pursue equity in access to health‐related resources by broadening the scope of health policy. Notes that its major principles include social participation in state decision making, inter‐sectoral collaboration in policy formulation and the improvement of conditions for the disadvantaged. Points out that its local initiatives often encompass health‐service professionals and practitioners as well as the voluntary sector, social services and other local authority departments, and that the effect of this local activity on political understandings of health at a national level gives some indication of the extent to which this local time and effort have been justified. In this respect, notes two limits to the impact of the Health for All movement on the political debates about health in Britain. Suggests that these centre on a largely indifferent but powerful national government and an emphasis within the movement initiatives at the level of a politically marginalized local state.
Purpose – To examine debates within the transgender rights movement over the GID diagnosis in order to demonstrate how diagnosis can be resisted as a source of stigma and…
Purpose – To examine debates within the transgender rights movement over the GID diagnosis in order to demonstrate how diagnosis can be resisted as a source of stigma and social control at the same time that it is embraced as a means of legitimating experience and gaining access to resources, including medical services.
Methodology/approach – This chapter draws on qualitative data from: in-depth interviews with transgender rights activists and advocates, participant observation in transgender health care and activism settings, and content analysis of print and web-based materials on transgender health.
Findings – Transgender rights activists and advocates overwhelmingly reject the pathologization of gender variance. However, some actors advocate complete demedicalization, while others advocate diagnostic reform. Actors' advocacy for each position is influenced by the perceived costs versus benefits of diagnosis.
Social implications – The findings of this research shed light on the multiple and often contradictory effects of diagnosis. Diagnoses can both normalize and stigmatize. They can function to allow or deny access to medical services and they can support or act as barriers to legal rights and protections. Understanding these contradictory effects is essential to understanding contests over diagnosis, including the contemporary debate over GID.
Originality/value of paper – Through examination of an intra-constituent contest over diagnosis, this research demonstrates the need to distinguish medicalization from pathologization and illustrates the importance of examining the multiple and contradictory effects of diagnosis, both in and outside of medical settings.