This innovative new book unravels many of the prevailing mysteries surrounding the pursuit of health and wellness today. Focusing explicitly on health rather than illness, it analyzes the way in which health and the conditions necessary for wellness are unequally distributed within society and argues that healthy societies foster healthy people. Organized into three parts, the text examines the sociological foundations of the discipline and health as a social construct before looking at the social determinants of health; the structural and behavioural factors that influence it; and the informal and formal components of the health-care system. Students will learn about the guidelines for measuring health, while considering personal, professional, and public responsibilities in the quest for good health. Engaging and comprehensive, Pursuing Health and Wellness advocates the creation of healthy societies in which people can engage in the active pursuit of healthy living and is essential reading for all students studying the sociology of health.
“The first section of the book (theoretical approaches and measurements of health and illness) provides a very thorough overview of the field of health sociology. I also like how the theoretical approaches in the first section are re-introduced in later sections as they are applied to
understand specific issues in health... The authors do a good job of differentiating between personal and structural explanations of health and illness.”
--Lisa Strohschein, University of Alberta
About the Authors:
Alexander Segall is a Health Sociologist whose academic career is devoted to the interdisciplinary study of the social dimensions of health and illness. This is reflected by both his early research on the sick role, self-health management, and the organization and delivery of community based health and social services, and his more recent research focusing on population health promotion, healthy active aging, and wellness as a lifelong pursuit, as well as by his diverse appointments in the Department of Sociology, Faculty of Arts, Department of Community Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, and the Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management. Dr. Segall is the senior author of a previous book on health and health care in Canada and the author (or co-author) of several chapters in edited collections in the fields of health behaviour research and aging and health. In addition, the results of his research have been published in a number of scientific journals including major Health Sociology and Aging journals. Dr. Segall’s research and scholarship have been recognized at the national level by a career award from Health Canada (National Health Research Scholar Award), and at the local level by a Merit Award for Research and Scholarly Work and Certificates of Achievement from the Faculty of Arts. He was recently appointed Professor Emeritus in recognition of his distinguished career.
Christopher J. Fries is a sociologist of health, medicine, and the body whose primary research interests are in health lifestyles and behaviour, critical public health, the social determinants of health, and complementary / alternative medicine and medical pluralism, or the existence of multiple systems of health care practice and belief. He has published sociological research investigating: people’s motivations for the use of complementary / alternative medicine; the relationship between ethnicity and the use of alternative healing practices; family physicians opinions of alternative medical therapies; the emergence of integrative medicine; and the social determinants of health.