Contested Illnesses and the Environmental Health Movement
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Toxic Exposures by Phil Brown
Book DescriptionThe increase in environmentally induced diseases and the loosening of regulation and safety measures have inspired a massive challenge to established ways of looking at health and the environment. Communities with disease clusters, women facing a growing breast cancer incidence rate, and people of color concerned about the asthma epidemic have become critical of biomedical models that emphasize the role of genetic makeup and individual lifestyle practices. Likewise, scientists have lost patience with their colleagues' and government's failure to adequately address environmental health issues and to safeguard research from corporate manipulation. Focusing specifically on breast cancer, asthma, and Gulf War-related health conditions-"contested illnesses" that have generated intense debate in the medical and political communities-Phil Brown shows how these concerns have launched an environmental health movement that has revolutionized scientific thinking and policy. Before the last three decades of widespread activism regarding toxic exposures, people had little opportunity to get information. Few sympathetic professionals were available, the scientific knowledge base was weak, government agencies were largely unprepared, laypeople were not considered bearers of useful knowledge, and ordinary people lacked their own resources for discovery and action. Brown argues that organized social movements are crucial in recognizing and acting to combat environmental diseases. His book draws on environmental and medical sociology, environmental justice, environmental health science, and social movement studies to show how citizen-science alliances have fought to overturn dominant epidemiological paradigms. His probing look at the ways scientific findings are made available to the public and the changing nature of policy offers a new perspective on health and the environment and the relationship among people, knowledge, power, and authority.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780231129480
(229mm x 152mm x 30mm)
Imprint: Columbia University Press
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publish Date: 5-Jun-2007
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Phil Brown
Sacrifice Zones, Paperback (October 2012)
The stories of residents of low-income communities across the country who took action when pollution from heavy industry contaminated their towns.
Contested Illnesses, Paperback (December 2011)
The politics and science of health and disease remain contested terrain among scientists, health practitioners, policy makers, industry, communities, and the public. This book asserts that science, activism, and policy are not separate issues and shows how the contribution of environmental factors in disease is often overlooked.
Any Guru Will Do, Paperback (September 2006)
Life, the universe, and everything - what's it all about? And are we ever supposed to really know the answer? These are the questions the author has been asking all his life. This work gives an account of one man's search for meaning in an increasingly cynical world. It is suitable for those who have ever pondered life's mysteries.
Social Movements in Health, Paperback (February 2005)» View all books by Phil Brown
* The first collection of research on health social movements. * Demonstrates that health social movements are an innovative and powerful form of political action. * Brings together the study of health and illness with social movement theory in order to establish a basis for the study of health social movements.
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Author Biography - Phil Brown
Phil Brown is a professor of Environmental Studies at Brown University. He directs the Community Outreach Core of Brown's Superfund Basic Research Program and the Ethical and Social Implications component of Brown's National Science Foundation NIRT project in nanotechnology. His book No Safe Place: Toxic Waste, Leukemia, and Community Action (co-authored with Edwin J. Mikkelsen, Univ of California Pr, Hardcover (1990), Paperback (1997): $21.95) was very successful. It was reviewed in The New York Times Book Review, The Boston Globe, Science, Harvard Law Review, Social Science & Medicine, Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, Contemporary Sociology, and New England Journal of Medicine, among others. In the spring of 2002 we published Phil Brown's In the Catskills: A Century of the Jewish Experience in 'The Mountains,' which has sold 2,321 copies so far.
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