"Overall, this is a fine scholarly work that brings together some very interesting and thought-provoking analyses. The book's strengths, namely its scholarly approach and critical thinking, well serve its audience of academics and students."
--Doody's Health Sciences Book Review Journal
"Deborah Lupton's complex treatise seeks to demonstrate that public health viewpoints and practices are value laden, political and socially subjective, and change over time and location. [This volume] is a good history of public health developments, primarily in Australia and England, and is a continuation of debate among health education professionals over the status of any and all health education 'truths.'. . . Lupton succeeds in her stated goal to 'problematize the taken-for-granted nature of health promotion discourses.'"
In a scintillating reappraisal of public health and health promotion in contemporary societies, author Deborah Lupton shows that health cannot be understood simply as the presence or absence of disease but represents a moral imperative that is embedded in social and cultural norms and expressed in public policies. The Imperative of Health explores the areas of public health and health promotion using contemporary sociocultural and political theory and builds on Foucault's writings on subjectivity, embodiment, and power relations. Lupton analyzes the implications of the new social theories for the study of health promotion and health communication, combining sociological, anthropological, historical, and cultural studies approaches to analyze the subjective nature of public health practices, and exploring their underlying meanings and assumptions.
Academics in public health, mass communication, medical sociology, and cultural studies will find this exploration concise, readable, and enlightening.