Social Capital, Social Policy, and Health Disparities: A Legacy of Political Advocacy in African-American Communities

Chapter

Abstract

This chapter examines the ways in which social capital has been used for political advocacy and civic engagement in health, focusing on the African-American experience. Further, it will give context to how African-Americans have wielded collective efficacy to combat racism, discrimination and its harmful by-products on health and access to health services. We highlight important historical and current developments within many African-American communities to build and sustain social capital. Many of these efforts are endemic to African American communities across the U.S., and others required multi-racial cooperation to build partnerships or vertical relationships (linking social capital) to influence policy change. Social capital movements have driven the state of African-American health in the post-slavery era, yet we argue that race/ethnicity has been left out of the conversation in research on social capital and health.

Keywords

Depression Income Posit Meso Reformer 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Behavioral Science and Health EducationSt. Louis UniversitySt. LouisUSA
  2. 2.University of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

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