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About Canada: Health and Illness, 3rd Edition

by Dennis Raphael  

Inequality, discrimination and oppression make us sick. Collective caring will go further in making us healthy than “wellness lifestyles”: the rich are getting richer, the rest of us are getting sick.

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  • May 2024
  • ISBN: 9781773636603
  • 274 pages
  • $24.00
  • For sale worldwide
  • PDF May 2024
  • ISBN: 9781773636610
  • $23.99
  • For sale worldwide
  • EPUB May 2024
  • ISBN: 9781773636627
  • $23.99
  • For sale worldwide

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About the book

Living a long, healthy life is one obvious goal of pretty much all of us. We are told, over and over, to change our “lifestyles” and accept that if we become ill, we have likely brought it on ourselves. Yet, hundreds of studies, over the past four decades, tell the real story: the living and working conditions we experience every day play a determining role in our health. How income and wealth, housing, education and adequate food are distributed, whether or not we are employed, and the working conditions we experience — not medical treatments nor so-called wellness lifestyles — determine whether we stay healthy or become ill. These living and working conditions reflect the social inequalities that are associated with social class, gender, race and other social locations in Canadian society.

The third edition of Health and Illness shows how inequitable distribution of the social determinants of health are determined by public policy decisions. Dennis Raphael updates information that connects health and illness to the worsening levels of inequality in Canada – the rich are getting richer and the rest of us are getting sick! This edition also includes a chapter on the social determinants of who got sick and died from COVID-19. The experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic make the clear case that we need to restructure work and living conditions through public policy that more equitably distributes economic resources. It is only through such actions that we will be able to promote the health of Canadians and prevent illness in an effective manner.

Health & Illness Social Work Sociology


Dennis Raphael

Dennis Raphael is a professor at the School of Health Policy and Management at York University. He is the editor of Social Determinants of Health: Canadian Perspectives; Tackling Health Inequalities: Lessons from International Experiences; and Immigration, Public Policy, and Health: Newcomer Experiences in Developed Nations. He is author of Poverty in Canada: Implications for Health and Quality of Life; co-author of The Politics of Health in the Canadian Welfare State; and co-editor of Staying Alive: Critical Perspectives on Health, Illness and Health Care.


  • Chapter 1: Who Stays Healthy? Who Gets Sick?
  • Chapter 2: Living Conditions, Stress and the Human Body
  • Chapter 3: Income, Education and Work
  • Chapter 4: Early Child Development, Food Security and Housing
  • Chapter 5: Social Exclusion
  • Chapter 6: Public Policy and the Social Determinants of Health
  • Chapter 7: COVID-19 and the Social Determinants of Health
  • Chapter 8: Transforming Our Political and Economic Systems


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