Book Series: Critical Approaches to Health

Critical Approaches to Health

A book series produced in association with ISCHP

 TheCritical Approaches to Health series seeks to present critical, inter-disciplinary books that present psychological, social and cultural issues related to health. Each volume in the series takes a critical approach to a particular health issue or topic, and is written to have relevance for students and researchers across the social sciences, and for practitioners. The series is edited by Kerry Chamberlain and Antonia Lyons, and published by Routledge, in association with the International Society for Critical Health Psychology. ISCHP members receive a discount on the purchase price of books in the series.

Books published in the series so far:

Disability and Sexual Health: A Critical Exploration of Key Issues

By Poul Rohleder, Stine Hellum Braathen and Mark Thomas Carew

The sexual lives of people with disabilities are rarely discussed. It is as if, because someone has a biological or psycholo
gical impairment, they do not exist as a sexual being. As such, many people with disabilities feel marginalised and powerless not only in their day-today lives, but also in their ability to form sexual relationships. A range of health issues are raised as a result. This book addresses these issues, illustrated by research from a range of international contexts. The book documents how both disability and sexuality are socially defined phenomena, and discusses implications for the sexual health of people with disabilities, from sexual health education and access to information to STDs and possible sexual exploitation. The book concludes with recommendations for inclusive practice that aligns with the aims of the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities.

Postfeminism and Health: Critical Psychology and Media Perspectives

By Sarah Riley, Adrienne Evans and Martine Robson

Riley et al final coverThis book employs a transdisciplinary and poststructuralist methodology to develop the concept of ‘postfeminist healthism,’ a twenty-first-century understanding of women’s physical and mental health formed at the intersections of postfeminist sensibilities, neoliberal constructs of citizenship, and the notion of health as an individual responsibility managed through consumption. Postfeminist healthism is used in this book to explore seven topics where postfeminist sensibility has the most impact on women’s health: self-help, weight, surgical technologies, sex, pregnancy, responsibilities for others’ health, and pro-anorexia communities. The book explores the ways in which the desire to be normal and live a good life is tied to expectations of ‘normal-perfection’ circulated across interpersonal interactions, media representations, and expert discourses. It diagnoses postfeminist healthism as unhealthy for both those women who participate in it and those whom it excludes, and considers how more positive directions may emerge.

Healthy Ageing: A Capability Approach to Inclusive Policy and Practice

By Christine Stephens and Mary Breheny

Stephens&BrehenyThis book takes Sen’s Capabilities Approach as a theoretical starting point and outlines a nuanced perspective that transcends the purely biomedical view, recognising ideas of resilience, as well as the experiences of older people themselves, in determining what it means to age well. It provides a comprehensive response to the overarching discourse that successful aging is simply about eating well and doing exercise, acknowledging not only that older people are not always able to follow such advice, but also that well-being is mediated by factors beyond the physical. In an era where aging has become an important topic for policy makers, this is a robust and timely response that examines what it means to live well as an older person.


Urban Poverty and Health Inequalities: A Relational Approach

By Darrin Hodgettsand Ottilie Stolte

Hodgetts&StolteThis book documents how life has become increasingly insecure and stressful for growing numbers of people due to increased insecurities in employment, income and housing, rising living costs, and the retrenchment of welfare and social services. The book explores the role of history and media depictions of poverty and health inequalities in influencing the current situation. A central objective is advancing ways to understand and respond to urban poverty as a key social determinant of health. The book gives particular attention to the ways in which punitive responses to urban poverty are exacerbating the hardships faced by people living in urban poverty.Considering issues of class, age, gender, ethnic and disability-based inequalities, the book offers both critical theory and grounded solutions to enable those living in poverty to live healthier lives.

A Critical Approach to Surrogacy: Reproductive Desires and Demands

By Damien W Riggs and Clemence Due

Riggs&DueThis book draws on empirical research conducted by the authors, supplemented by secondary analyses of media, legislative and public accountsof surrogacy, to engage with key stakeholders involved in the practices of surrogacy. Specifically, it canvases the standpoints of women who act as surrogates, intending parents who commission surrogacy arrangements, children born through surrogacy, clinics that facilitate the arrangements, and politicians and journalists who engage with surrogacy. The book uses a focus on capitalism as an orientation to the topic of surrogacy, highlighting the vulnerabilities that can arise in the context of surrogacy, as well as claims to agency invoked by parties to mitigate vulnerability. In so doing, the book demonstrates that the psychology of surrogacy must be broadly understood as an orientation to particular ways of thinking about children, reproduction and economies of labour.

Digital Health: Critical and Cross-Disciplinary Perspectives

By Deborah Lupton

LuptonBringing together social and cultural theory with empirical research, the book challenges apolitical approaches to examine the impact new technologies have on social justice, and the implication for social and economic inequalities. Lupton considers how self-tracking devices change the patient-doctor relationship, and how the digitisation and gamification of healthcare through apps and other software affects the way we perceive and respond to our bodies. She asks which commercial interests enable different groups to communicate more widely, and how the personal data generated from digital encounters are exploited. Considering the lived experience of digital health technologies, including their emotional and sensory dimensions, the book also assesses their broader impact on medical and public health knowledges, power relations and work practices.

Constructing Pain: Historical, psychological and critical perspectives

By Robert Kugelmann