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Epidemiology and the People’s HealthTheory and Context$
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Nancy Krieger

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780195383874

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195383874.001.0001

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Ecosocial Theory of Disease Distribution

Ecosocial Theory of Disease Distribution

Embodying Societal & Ecologic Context

Chapter:
(p.202) 7 Ecosocial Theory of Disease Distribution
Source:
Epidemiology and the People’s Health
Author(s):

Nancy Krieger (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195383874.003.0007

Chapter 7 introduces a newer variant of social epidemiologic theory: ecologically-informed approaches, especially the ecosocial theory of disease distribution, first proposed by this book's author in 1994. To situate ecosocial theory, the chapter briefly reviews ecology's origins and current conceptual debates in the field. It then explicates key aspects of ecosocial theory, which systematically links social and biological processes across levels and diverse spatiotemporal scales, paying heed to lifecourse and historical generation, to political economy, and to interrelationships between—and accountability for—diverse forms of social inequality. A central emphasis is on embodiment, referring to how we literally incorporate, biologically, in societal and ecologic context, the material and social world in which we live. Also germane are the cumulative interplay of exposure, susceptibility and resistance, as well as accountability and agency: both for social disparities in health and research to explain these inequities. Parallels to political ecology are also discussed.

Keywords:   ecology, ecosocial theory, embodiment, health inequities, level, lifecourse, political ecology, political economy, social epidemiology, spatiotemporal scale

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