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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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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 01 July 2022

The Health Politics of Asthma

The Health Politics of Asthma

Environmental Justice and Collective Illness Experience

(p.108) 7 The Health Politics of Asthma
Contested Illnesses

Phil Brown

Brian Mayer

Stephen Zavestoski

Theo Luebke

Joshua Mandelbaum

Sabrina McCormick

Mercedes Lyson

University of California Press

This chapter looks at the politics and embodied health movement strategies of environmental justice advocates working on asthma issues: Alternatives for Community and Environment, based in the Roxbury area of Boston, and West Harlem Environmental Action, based in New York City. It demonstrates how asthma is transformed from a disease affecting an individual to a politicized collective illness experience. This approach, together with support from public health and science allies, can lead to concrete changes in health policy, especially in terms of health tracking, academic and community collaboration, and stronger air-quality regulation. Meanwhile, community-based environmental justice organizations link asthma with the social determinants of their health, such as discrimination and social inequality.

Keywords:   asthma, Alternatives for Community and Environment, West Harlem Environmental Action, collective illness, health policy, air-quality regulation, discrimination, social inequality

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