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Abstract: While we all have an understanding of what is meant by the term critical, the precise meaning of the word when attached to a type of research is perhaps more complex. Basing our approach on the work of Lee Harvey, Judith Green, and Ronald LeBonte, we describe an approach to public health that questions the status quo by situating taken-for-granted beliefs within the context of social systems in which they are created. As such, critical research is, by definition, a political project. Using examples from our research with marginalized youth, we illustrate how population-level health policies may be iatrogenic and may exacerbate as opposed to ameliorate inequities in health.
The what is and why bother with a critical public health
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