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Introduction to Syndemics: A Critical Systems Approach to Public and Community Health

Introduction to Syndemics: A Critical Systems Approach to Public and Community Health - Free Ebook Download

Book Detail

Author/Editor(s): Merrill Singer
Publication Date: June 9, 2009
ISBN-10: 0470472030
ISBN-13: 978-0470472033
Language: English
Edition: 1
Publisher: Jossey-Bass
Size: 13.3 MB
Format: pdf

Book Description

There is a need for a text that explains syndemics-the systems approach methodology for understanding and addressing complex public health problems. The book explains the use of systems approaches for brining together the largest possible picture for understanding health issues afflicting those most vulnerable in our society. The author explains new ways for understanding the health of the poor by looking at the whole and to considering the interconnections among the parts. This text provides an ideal text for courses in epidemiology, medical anthropology, community health nursing, and more.

About the Author

Merrill Singer, a cultural and medical anthropologist who earned his PhD degree from the University of Utah, holds a dual appointment as senior research scientist at the Center for Health, Intervention, and Prevention and professor of anthropology at the University of Connecticut. Additionally, he is affi liated with the Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS (CIRA) at Yale University. He has authored, coauthored, or edited twenty books and over two hundred articles and book chapters on health and social issues. Active in the building of social science of health theory, the development of methods in qualitative health research, and the use of research in the development of community - based health promotion and intervention, he has been the recipient of the Rudolph Virchow Award from the Critical Anthropology of Health Caucus of the Society for Medical Anthropology, the George Foster Practicing Medical Anthropology Award from the Society for Medical Anthropology, the AIDS and Anthropology Prize Paper award from the AIDS and Anthropology Research Group, and the Prize for Distinguished Achievement in the Critical Study of North America from the Society for the Anthropology of North America. Since 1984 he has been the principal investigator on a continuous series of basic and applied federally funded health studies, and he has carried out health research in the United States, Brazil, China, and Haiti.


Merrill Singer has astutely described why health problems should not be seen in isolation, but rather in the context of other diseases and the social and economic inequities that fuel them. An important read for public health and social scientists.

--Michael H. Merson, director, Duke Global Health Institute

Not only does this book provide a persuasive theoretical biosocial model of syndemics, but it also illustrates the model with a wide variety of fascinating historical and contemporary examples.

--Peter J. Brown, professor of Anthropology and Global Health and director, Center for Health, Culture, and Society, Emory University

The concept of syndemics is Singer’s most important contribution to critical medical anthropology as it interfaces with an ecosocial approach to epidemiology.

--Mark Nichter, Regents Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Arizona

Merrill Singer offers the public the most comprehensive work ever written on this key area of research and policy making.

--Francisco I. Bastos, chairman of the graduate studies on epidemiology, Fundacao Oswaldo Cruz

Exquisitely describes how this new approach is a critical tool that brings together veterinary, medical, and social sciences to solve emerging infectious and non-infectious diseases of to- day’s world.

--Bonnie Buntain, MS, DVM, diplomate, American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine

For too long the great integrative perspectives on modern biomedicine and public health—disease ecology and social medicine—have remained more or less separate. In this innovative and provocative book, Merrill Singer develops a valuable synthesis that will re- shape the way we think about health and disease.

--Warwick H. Anderson, MD, PhD, professorial research fellow, Department of History and Centre for Values, Ethics, and the Law in Medicine, University of Sydney
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