Application of two schools of social theory to neighbourhood, place and health research

Irene H. Yen, Janet K. Shim, Airín D. Martínez

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

There is an increasing interest in neighbourhoods in the public health and epidemiology literature. Conventional epidemiologic investigations of neighbourhood health associations have primarily used census and administrative data to describe neighbourhoods. These studies report that people who live in neighbourhoods with higher proportions of people with low incomes or who are unemployed are in poorer health than people who live in neighbourhoods with lower proportions of people with low incomes. It is difficult to translate these sorts of findings into policy or practice. These limitations motivate us to ask how different questions might be formulated to understand neighbourhood-health connections in such a way as to move into solution-focused research. In this chapter, we suggest that understanding and applying social theory to neighbourhood-health research questions provokes us to ask different sorts of questions than have been posed by most epidemiologists thus far. We provide some examples of how two sociological paradigms, conflict and interactionist theories, suggest different questions, which then warrant different methods of investigation. To the extent that epidemiology has uncovered mechanisms that connect neighbourhoods to people's health, the most investigated mechanisms are social capital and physical disorder. We take up the specific research in this area with the lens of sociological paradigms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRethinking Social Epidemiology: Towards a Science of Change
PublisherSpringer Netherlands
Pages157-174
Number of pages18
Volume9789400721388
ISBN (Print)9789400721388, 9400721374, 9789400721371
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2013
Externally publishedYes

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Health
Research
Epidemiology
Social Theory
Censuses
Lenses
Public Health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Yen, I. H., Shim, J. K., & Martínez, A. D. (2013). Application of two schools of social theory to neighbourhood, place and health research. In Rethinking Social Epidemiology: Towards a Science of Change (Vol. 9789400721388, pp. 157-174). Springer Netherlands. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-2138-8_8

Application of two schools of social theory to neighbourhood, place and health research. / Yen, Irene H.; Shim, Janet K.; Martínez, Airín D.

Rethinking Social Epidemiology: Towards a Science of Change. Vol. 9789400721388 Springer Netherlands, 2013. p. 157-174.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Yen, IH, Shim, JK & Martínez, AD 2013, Application of two schools of social theory to neighbourhood, place and health research. in Rethinking Social Epidemiology: Towards a Science of Change. vol. 9789400721388, Springer Netherlands, pp. 157-174. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-2138-8_8
Yen IH, Shim JK, Martínez AD. Application of two schools of social theory to neighbourhood, place and health research. In Rethinking Social Epidemiology: Towards a Science of Change. Vol. 9789400721388. Springer Netherlands. 2013. p. 157-174 https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-2138-8_8
Yen, Irene H. ; Shim, Janet K. ; Martínez, Airín D. / Application of two schools of social theory to neighbourhood, place and health research. Rethinking Social Epidemiology: Towards a Science of Change. Vol. 9789400721388 Springer Netherlands, 2013. pp. 157-174
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