Health Communication is an integral part of health promotion and it is central to improving population and global health. Health Communication: Theoretical and Critical Perspectives is a unique book which provides a critical take on contemporary health communication efforts. The book fills a gap in the literature about critical perspectives in health communication. Health communication has always been action oriented and is key to promoting good population and individual health outcomes. Responding to a need for a more critical perspective in health communication, this book scrutinises the ideologies and theories underpinning health communication rather than describing ‘how to it’. It sets out to question various aspects of health communication and provides a critical overview of three key disciplinary areas that contribute to health communication – education, psychology and communication. Drawing in international examples throughout the book explores contemporary issues in health communication such as social marketing and health literacy challenging some of the underlying assumptions that drive the design and delivery of health promotion interventions. The authors argue that health communication is inherently political. Issues of power, ethics and inequality therefore permeate the debates in the text and are central threads throughout.
The book will be a valuable resource for students at all levels interested in critical perspectives as well as practitioners in health communication and health promotion who want to reflect on, and challenge, practice. The authors have extensive experience in teaching health communication and health promotion at post graduate level in the UK, Zambia, The Gambia and Ghana and bring this experience to the writing of the book.
Ruth Cross is Acting Principal Lecturer in Health Promotion at Leeds Beckett University.
Sam Davis is Senior Lecturer in Health Promotion at Leeds Beckett University.
Ivy O’Neil is former Principal Lecturer and Professional Lead for the Health Promotion team at Leeds Beckett University.