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Essentials of Health, Culture, and Diversity
Understanding People, Reducing Disparities

Author(s): Mark Edberg, PhD, Associate Professor, The George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health
  • ISBN-13: 9780763780456
  • ISBN-10:0763780456
  • Paperback    186 pages      © 2013
Price: $117.95 US List
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The term culture has increasingly been used in the discourse of public health, for example, with respect to issues of health disparities in the U.S., the development and implementation of ‘culturally competent’ or ‘culturally appropriate’ programs, and in many other ways. What exactly is culture, however?

Published in partnership with the American Public Health Association, this newest offering in the Essential Public Health series examines what is meant by culture, the ways in which culture intersects with health issues, how public health efforts can benefit by understanding and working with cultural processes, and a brief selection of conceptual tools and research methods that are useful in identifying relationships between culture and health.

Essentials of Health, Culture, and Diversity includes practical guidelines for incorporating cultural understanding in public health settings, and examples of programs where that has occurred.

Looking for more real-life evidence? Check out Cases 3, 7-9, 11, 13, 17, & 18 in Essential Case Studies in Public Health, Putting Public Health into Practice.

Section  1  Culture and the Human Condition – An Introduction
  Chapter  1  There is Health, and There is Health: An Introductory Conversation about Health from Different Cultural Perspectives.
  Chapter  2  The Starting Point: Defining Culture, Defining Health
Section  2  Tools and Perspectives for Understanding the Relationship between Culture and Health
  Chapter  3  Ethnomedicine: Cultural Health Systems of Related Knowledge and Practice
  Chapter  4  Ethnomedicine II – Cultural Systems of Psychology, Mental and Emotional Health
  Chapter  5  The Moral Dimension – The Relationship of Etiology to Morality (and Stigma) in Cultural Beliefs and Practices Related to Health
  Chapter  6  Culture, Healers, and the Institutions of Health
  Chapter  7  Socio-Cultural Ecologies of Disease and Illness: The Creation of Vulnerability
  Chapter  8  Culture, Subculture and Constructions of Health Risk
Section  3  Applying Concepts of Cultural Diversity to Health Promotion
  Chapter  9  The Dimensions of Culture and a Sampling of Current Public Health Challenges
  Chapter  10  Research Strategies to Help Identify Cultural Factors: A Brief Primer
  Chapter  11  Incorporating Cultural Knowledge in Public Health Interventions: Selected Examples
  Chapter  12  Wrapping Up: Cultural Competence in Public Health

Mark Edberg, PhD-Associate Professor, The George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health


MARK EDBERG, PhD, MA, is Associate Professor in the Department of Prevention and Community Health in the School of Public Health and Health Services at George Washington University, with secondary appointments in the Department of Anthropology and Elliott School of International Affairs. Dr. Edberg is an applied and academic anthropologist with 20 years’ experience in social research, primarily in public health, that has included basic behavioral research, interventions and intervention research, program evaluation, community health promotion, strategic planning and policy development, communications development, and capacity building – both domestic and international. Key areas of focus have been: high risk and marginalized populations, social determinants of health, health disparities, minority health, at-risk youth, prevention of HIV/AIDS and STIs, youth violence, substance abuse, general issues of poverty and health, and theory development. He has been Principal Investigator, Co-Principal Investigator or Project Director on intervention and research efforts funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH), U.S. Office of Minority Health, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and other agencies within the Department of Health and Human Services, and has been working with UNICEF in the Latin America-Caribbean region as well as at UNICEF headquarters. He has also provided consulting and support for the Organization of American States, USAID, Urban Institute, and local governments. Dr. Edberg teaches graduate courses in social/behavioral theory and qualitative research, and undergraduate courses in culture and health and social/behavioral theory for health promotion, as well as previous courses for the Department of Anthropology. Dr. Edberg has published numerous articles in journals such as the Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, the Journal of Youth Studies, Health Promotion Practice, Journal of Primary Prevention, the International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Anthropological Quarterly, and others. Dr. Edberg’s recent books include Essentials of Health Behavior and Essential Readings in Health Behavior,and a book documenting his U.S.-Mexico border research (University of Texas Press). He is also a recipient of a Fulbright Senior Specialist award and a Fellow of the Society for Applied Anthropology.   


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