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Social Movements and the Transformation of American Health Care$
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Jane Banaszak-Holl, Sandra Levitsky, and Mayer Zald

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195388299

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195388299.001.0001

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Obstacles to Emerging Climate-Induced Illness Movements

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Source:
Social Movements and the Transformation of American Health Care
Author(s):

Sabrina McCormick

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195388299.003.0015

McCormick examines the conditions that lead to the emergence of “climate‐induced illness movements” (CIIMs). Climate‐induced illnesses, which include illnesses caused by vector‐borne transmission, urban temperature and air pollution, and extreme weather events, are rising in number and in scope in the United States, but citizen responses to the proliferation of these illnesses have been hampered by the difficulty of establishing disease causation, identification, and treatment. Focusing on three cases—West Nile Virus, the displacement of Alaska Natives, and heat‐induced illness in Philadelphia, McCormick finds that pre‐existing movements and the formation of “boundary organizations”—or hybrid institutions that embody both science and politics—may serve as catalysts for the formation of CIIMs. But scientific challenges, such as the lack of cause‐effect relationships between environmental and disease phenomena or limitations of localizing macro‐level models, hamper the ability of movements to successfully link environmental outcomes to health in their mobilization efforts. As a result, CIIMs generally emerge when there is a pre‐existing environmental health movement or strong scientific evidence supporting a link between ecological change and health outcomes.

Keywords:   social movements, collective action, framing, health care, environmental, mobilization, climate change, illness

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