Oppression, 2nd Edition

A Social Determinant of Health

by Elizabeth McGibbon  

This book provides clear and solution-focused evidence about how public policy–created oppression gets “under the skin” to threaten health, increase health inequities and cause early death.

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  • April 2021
  • ISBN: 9781773632285
  • 264 pages
  • $45.00
  • For sale worldwide
  • EPUB April 2021
  • ISBN: 9781773634449
  • $44.99
  • For sale worldwide
  • PDF April 2021
  • ISBN: 9781773634463
  • $44.99
  • For sale worldwide

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About the book

In this current environment, it is urgent to understand how oppression and health are closely connected. Oppression: A Social Determinant of Health offers a thorough and accessible overview of the root or structural causes of ill health, such as capitalism, globalization, colonialism, medicalization and neoliberalism. The contributors to this volume insist that the key to tackling these structural forces is understanding and changing oppressive practices that cause ill health, thus reframing growing health inequities within the scope of moral responsibility and social change. This thoroughly updated second edition contains contributions from internationally recognized experts in the field of critical social science analyses in health systems and health sciences studies. New chapters provide timely discussions about oppression, Treaty Rights, Big Pharma, the Anthropocene and the COVID-19 pandemic. This book provides a comprehensive overview of core ideas for investigating how oppression “gets under the skin” to perpetuate health inequities.

Teaching Learning Guide and Action Toolkit available upon request

Class Inequality Health & Illness

What people are saying

Lexy Smith-Doughty, College Quarterly

The author has produced an excellent work that offers an accurate depiction of power relations as they relate to health from a paradigm consistent with many in the field of the social determinants of health, especially health promoters. It would be beneficial if more health professionals, students and members of the public alike became aware of the critical thinking present in this book.


Elizabeth McGibbon

Elizabeth McGibbon is a professor in the Faculty of Science at St. Francis Xavier University. Her publications describe how public policy created oppression deepens disadvantage and heightens privilege to create and sustain intergenerational health damage. An invited author in eight multiple edition books about critical applications in health, she authored (with Josephine Etowa) the first Canadian book to tackle health care racism: Anti-Racist Health Care Practice.


  • Politicizing Health: Overview of how oppression is a social determinant of health
  • Chapter 1: Introduction to Oppression: A Social Determinant of Health Elizabeth A. McGibbon
  • Chapter 2: People and Planet Under Threat: Health Impacts of Oppression Elizabeth A. McGibbon
  • Chapter 3: Raising the Volume on the Social Determinants of Health in Canada and Elsewhere Dennis Raphael
  • Oppression in the Everyday: How Oppression Operates to Promote and Sustain Health Inequities
  • Chapter 4: The Racialization of Oppression Josephine B. Etowa & Elizabeth A. McGibbon
  • Chapter 5: Oppression and the Health of Indigenous Peoples Marie Battiste & James [Sa’ke’j] Youngblood Henderson
  • Chapter 6: Social Exclusion as a Determinant of Health Grace-Edward Galabuzi
  • Chapter 7: Oppression and Im/migrant Health in Canada Denise Spitzer and Sara Torres
  • Chapter 8: The Politics of Mental Health: Pathologizing the Impacts of Injustice Elizabeth A. McGibbon
  • Imperatives for Structural Change: Belling the Cat
  • Chapter 9: Oppression: Redistributive Politics and Public Policy Toba Bryant
  • Chapter 10: Obsessed by Profits: Big Pharma and the Corruption of Health Joel Lexchin
  • Chapter 11: Aboriginal Peoples’ Constitutional Right to Health Sa’kej Youngblood Henderson
  • Chapter 12: Oppression and the Political Economy of Health Inequities Elizabeth McGibbon & Lars K. Hallstrom
  • Chapter 13: Human Rights and Health Elizabeth McGibbon & Maureen Shebib
  • Chapter 14: COVID-19: Oppressions Laid Bare Scott Aquanno, Toba Bryant, Josephine B. Etowa, Joel Lexchin, Elizabeth McGibbon, Dennis Raphael, Denise Spitzer, & Sarah Torres


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