• Patricia O’Campo
  • James R. Dunn


Social epidemiology is now widely accepted as a legitimate area of inquiry, with a vast number of practicing social epidemiologists in universities, ­public health departments and other venues throughout the world. Social epidemiologists have focused on demonstrating the impact of growing social and health inequalities worldwide and have repeatedly demonstrated that health status is not distributed equally in society. Yet an almost exclusive focus on the existence and growth of gaps in income or health alone will not inform effective solutions. Social epidemiology risks exclusion from contributing to the formulation of solutions if our field continues to simply emphasize empirical studies demonstrating the existence of a variety of different health inequalities. We seek to challenge social epidemiology to “rethink its current practice” and adopt a greater focus on generating evidence required to “take action” to alleviate conditions of marginalization and poverty (i.e., solution-focused research). We review a number of challenges facing the field that prevent social epidemiologists from participating in the formulation of solutions to these growing social problems and health inequities. We provide an overview of the topics of the chapters in this volume intended to provide a vision of social epidemiology as a science of change.


Knowledge Translation Health Inequality Social Determinant Health Inequity Social Epidemiology 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Canadian Institutes of Health Research


Temporary Assistance for Needy Families


World Health Organization


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Research on Inner City HealthSt. Michael’s HospitalTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Department of Health, Aging and SocietyMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada

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