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Contested IllnessesCitizens, Science, and Health Social Movements$
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Phil Brown, Rachel Morello-Frosch, and Stephen Zavestoski

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780520270206

Published to California Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520270206.001.0001

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Embodied Health Movements

Embodied Health Movements

(p.15) 2 Embodied Health Movements
Contested Illnesses

Phil Brown

Rachel Morello-Frosch

Stephen Zavestoski

Sabrina McCormick

Brian Mayer

Rebecca Gasior Altman

Crystal Adams

Elizabeth Hoover

Ruth Simpson

University of California Press

This chapter looks at the Contested Illnesses Research Group's (CIRG) early theoretical work on embodied health movements (EHMs). Embodied health movements are a relatively new subset of health social movements that challenge science and medicine on all aspects of contested illnesses. They introduce the biological body into social movements in compelling ways, using the embodied experience of illness to counter the authority of established institutional actors. In this way, EHMs elucidate the political economy of health and disease to shift intervention strategies beyond treatment and toward prevention. Very often, EHMs simultaneously challenge and collaborate with researchers and health professionals to pursue new paths of inquiry about the fundamental causes of disease, including social and environmental factors. These activities lead to a shift in the dominant epidemiological paradigm of disease causation.

Keywords:   Contested Illnesses Research Group, embodied health movements, dominant epidemiological paradigm, disease causation, contested illnesses, health social movements

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