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Social work and global health inequalities
Practice and policy developments

Paul Bywaters, Eileen McLeod, Lindsey Napier
Hardback, 320 pages, 234 x 156 mm
Other formats available
16 Sep 2009


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North America customers can order this book here from the University of Chicago Press.

"...makes a significant and unique contribution to both social work knowledge and global health studies by bridging them. It is one of the pioneers in the field."
Yanqiu Rachel Zhou in International Journal of Social Welfare
"This collection makes a significant contribution to highlighting the importance of health inequalities for social work. It draws our attention to the necessity of locating local health inequalities in a global context and identifies the extraordinary diversity and depth of social work practice within this field internationally. This is a valuable addition to an under-valued field". Liz Walker in British Journal of Social Work
"This book's strength is its distance from emphasis on policy and community development as a strategy for addressing health inequalities."
European Journal of Social Work.
"I commend this timely collection that provides the intellectual underpinning for IFSW policy and other global policies on social work and health. It fills a huge gap in the social work literature."
David N. Jones, President, International Federation of Social Workers

About This Book

Tackling inequalities in health is an essential social work task. Every day, social workers grapple with the impact on people's lives of the social inequalities that shape their health chances and experience. This book examines the relationship between social work and health inequalities in the context of globalisation. Based on the practice expertise and research of social workers from developing and developed countries worldwide and using specific examples, this book: · demonstrates the relevance of health inequalities to social work practice and policy across the lifecourse;  · analyses barriers to good health that result from global social, economic, environmental and political trends; · develops core ideas on how social workers can act to combat negative effects of globalisation by adopting a health inequalities lens. "Social work and global health inequalities" is a unique snapshot of a new global social work that is responsive to local conditions and circumstances but seeks partners in the international struggle for equity, rights and social justice. This groundbreaking collection is essential reading for social work students, academics and researchers, and for policy makers, managers and social workers.

Author Biography

Paul Bywaters is Emeritus Professor of Social Work at Coventry University and Honorary Professor at the University of Warwick, England. He was the first convenor of the Social Work and Health Inequalities Network (SWHIN) and joint author with Lindsey Napier of the International Federation of Social Workers' "International Policy on Health". He has been writing about social work and health for over 20 years. Eileen McLeod is Associate Professor in Social Work at the School of Health and Social Studies, University of Warwick. Her research interests centre on social work's contribution to tackling health inequalities and she has published extensively in this area. A founder member of SWHIN, her publications include E. McLeod and P. Bywaters, "Social Work, Health and Equality" (Routledge 2000). Lindsey Napier is Pro-Dean in the Faculty of Education and Social Work, University of Sydney. Her current research and teaching centre on the social dimensions of ageing, dying and death, where health and social inequalities are writ large. She is the current convenor of SWHIN.


Part One: Introduction: Social work and global health inequalities ~ Paul Bywaters, Eileen McLeod and Lindsey Napier
Part Two: Global health inequalities: issues for social work: The right to health: illusion or possibility? ~ Vimla Nadkarni and Kriti Vikram
Health, equity and social justice ~ Stephen M. Rose
Health and the environment ~ Margaret Alston
The health impacts of political conflict: new engagements for social work? ~ Shulamit Ramon
Reproduction in the global market place ~ Eric Blyth
Laying the foundations for good health in childhood ~ Norma Baldwin
Violence, abuse and health ~ Lesley Laing
Long-term illness and disability: inequalities compounded ~ Barbara Fawcett
Part Three: Social work intervention: addressing global health inequalities: Framing health inequalities as targets for social work: Poverty and health policy in China ~ Agnes Koon-chui Law
All things equal? Social work and lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) global health inequalities ~ Julie Fish
The role of advocacy assessment and action in resolving health-compromising stress in the lives of older African American homeless women ~ David Moxley and Olivia Washington
Preventive social work intervention and health promotion: Empowerment as a social determinant of Indigenous Australian health: the case of the Family Wellbeing programme ~ Mary Whiteside, Komla Tsey and Yvonne Cadet-James
Social work in rural China: advancing women's health and well-being in the village ~ Tuula Heinonen, Yang Jiao, Lawrence Deane and Maria Cheung
Social capital and health outcomes: implications for social work practice ~ Grace Fung-Mo Ng and Raymond W Pong
Developing new forms of service design and delivery: Addressing mental health inequalities in Scotlnd through community conversation ~ Neil Quinn and Lee Knifton
Improving psychosocial care for cancer patients ~ Carrie Lethborg and Sonia Posenelli
Developing the evidence base for practice and policy: From research to policy: advocacy for families caring for children with life-limiting conditions ~ Suzanne Quin and Jean Clarke
Data-mining 'victim of crime' presentations in hospital emergency departments: a research tool with wider significance ~ Rosalie Pockett
Promoting health equality through evidence-based study: health care access for Pakistani women and their children in Hong Kong ~ Amy Po Ying Ho
Social work education for awareness and practice: HIV/AIDS education and awareness campaign: reaching the unreached through distance learning ~ Gracious Thomas
Social work eucation and indigenous health ~ John Douglass Whyte, Lou Harms and Angela Clarke
The challenges of training social workers for health care in South Africa ~ Charlene Carbonatto
Part Four: Global health inequalities: social work policy and practice development: Addressing health inequalities: the role of service user and people's health movements ~ Ann Davis
Engagement in international practice and policy development ~ Imelda Dodds
Conclusion: emerging themes for practice and policy development ~ Paul Bywaters, Eileen McLeod and Lindsey Napier.


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