Engaging ideas, transforming minds
Engaging ideas, transforming minds

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648 pages
6.75 x 9.75 inches
May 2016
Print ISBN: 9781551308975


In the current environment of deepening class and income inequality, it is essential to understand the socio-economic conditions that shape the health of individuals and communities. Now in its third edition, Dennis Raphael’s Social Determinants of Health offers a comprehensive discussion of the primary factors that influence the health of Canada’s population.

This seminal text on the social determinants of health contains contributions from top academics and high-profile experts from across the country. Taking a public policy approach, the authors in this edited collection critically analyze the structural inequalities embedded in our society and the socio-economic factors that affect health, including income, education, employment, housing, food security, gender, and race.

The thorough updates to this edition include a greater focus on the political mechanisms that explain the distribution of the social determinants of health and additional material on public policy, early childhood education in Canada, and the determinants of Indigenous peoples’ health. Rich in pedagogical tools including critical thinking questions and lists of recommended readings and online resources, this book will actively engage students and researchers alike.

Related Titles

Table of Contents

Foreword to the Third Edition, Michael Butler and Maude Barlow
Foreword to the Second Edition, The Honourable Carolyn Bennett
Foreword to the First Edition, The Honourable Roy J. Romanow

Chapter 1: Social Determinants of Health: Key Issues and Themes, Dennis Raphael
Chapter 2: Social Structure, Living Conditions, and Health, Dennis Raphael

Chapter 3: Precarious Changes: A Generational Exploration of Canadian Incomes and Wealth, Ann Curry-Stevens
Chapter 4: Income, Income Distribution, and Health in Canada, Nathalie Auger and Carolyne Alix
Chapter 5: Precarious Work and the Labour Market, Diane-Gabrielle Tremblay
Chapter 6: Health Consequences of Labour Market Flexibility and Worker Insecurity, Emile Tompa, Michael Polanyi, and Janice Foley
Chapter 7: The Unhealthy Canadian Workplace, Andrew Jackson and Govind Rao
Chapter 8: Understanding and Improving the Health of Work, Peter Smith and Michael Polanyi

Chapter 9: Early Childhood Education and Care as a Social Determinant of Health, Martha Friendly
Chapter 10: Early Child Development and Health, Dennis Raphael
Chapter 11: The State and Quality of Canadian Public Elementary and Secondary Education, Charles Ungerleider and Tracey Burns
Chapter 12: Literacy and Health Literacy: New Understandings about Their Impact on Health, Barbara Ronson McNichol and Irving Rootman

Chapter 13: Food Insecurity, Lynn McIntyre and Laura Anderson
Chapter 14: Health Implications of Food Insecurity, Valerie Tarasuk
Chapter 15: Housing, Toba Bryant and Michael Shapcott
Chapter 16: Housing and Health, Toba Bryant

Chapter 17: Social Exclusion, Grace-Edward Galabuzi
Chapter 18: Social Inclusion/Exclusion and Health: Dancing the Dialectic, Ronald Labonté
Chapter 19: The Health of Indigenous Peoples, Janet Smylie and Michelle Firestone

Chapter 20: Follow the Money: How Business and Politics Define Our Health, David Langille
Chapter 21: Oppressions and Access to Health Care: Deepening the Conversation, Elizabeth McGibbon
Chapter 22: Public Policy, Equality, and Health in Canada, Lars K. Hallstrom
Chapter 23: Public Policy, Gender, and Health, Pat Armstrong
Chapter 24: Surmounting the Barriers: Making Action on the Social Determinants of Health a Public Policy Priority, Dennis Raphael and Ann Curry-Stevens

Appendix: Strengthening the Social Determinants of Health: The Toronto Charter for a Healthy Canada

Contributor Biographies

Copyright Acknowledgements



"This book is a must-read for anyone in education, health, government, or policy development. I think it is crucial that more academics start including SDOH in courses across multiple disciplines. Many courses with an emphasis on health tend to focus on the individual and for the most part ignore the social factors—this needs to change. This text does an incredible job of outlining those social factors."
—  Anne-Marie Sullivan, School of Human Kinetics and Recreation, Memorial University of Newfoundland

"This third edition of Raphael's Social Determinants of Health offers timely new material and remains the most compelling and exhaustive Canadian text available on the subject. No one weaves together a more impressive group of experts with more passion, urgency, and evidence than he does."
—  Kelly Anthony, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, University of Waterloo

"This book makes a highly significant contribution to the field of Public Health in Canada. Aside from being well-researched and well-written, a major strength of the book is its focus on identifying clear policy directions to improve the health of Canadians by influencing each of the social determinants. Raphael’s book is essential reading for university students, practitioners, program managers, and policy-makers in all of the human service sectors."
—  Benita Cohen, College of Nursing, University of Manitoba

Instructor Resources

This instructor's manual is rich in pedagogical tools including lecture suggestions, critical thinking questions, lists of recommended readings, and online resources for each chapter, this book will actively engage students and researchers alike.

See sample

Student Resources

Social Determinants of Health, Third Edition Student Resource - Download

General Student Resource - Download

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