Health and Social Change in International Perspective

Edited by Lincoln C. Chen, Arthur Kleinman, and Nova C. Ware. 508 pages. Boston, MA. Harvard University Press. Paperback. $15. 1994

Paul F. Basch Department of Health Research and Policy Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California 94305

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Much attention has been given recently to the demographic and epidemiologic transitions through which nations are presumed to pass on their way from underdevelopment to modernity. The decline in mortality and extension of the human lifespan during recent centuries are astounding achievements when seen in the long-term historical context. This volume, one of a series from the Department of Population and International Health at the Harvard School of Public Health, is intended to explore the concept of the “health transition” beyond demography and epidemiology, highlighting the social dimensions of changes in health in a variety of settings and contexts.

The volume consists of 18 contributions from participants in a Health Transitions lecture program at the Department of Population and International Health. In accordance with the volume's promise to cover the sociocultural, economic, political, historical and public health dimensions of health change, the chapters are extremely diverse in length, organization, and subject matter.