Help or hindrance? Social policy and the 'social determinants of health'

Gemma Carey, Brad Crammond

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleOtherpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


In recent years, public health research has become increasingly focused on issues of social inequality and social disadvantage. This is because social issues, such as poor housing and unemployment, have been found to impact health significantly, and are now referred to as 'the social determinants of health'. As a result of this shift, public health is now principally concerned with what are historically considered to be social policy issues. This paper discusses the confluence of public health and social policy; it examines the opportunities and risks posed by this convergence for those working in social policy seeking to reduce poverty and inequality. We argue that, while much can be gained in the two fields by working more closely together, there remain fundamental differences in perspectives and approaches. In order to maximise benefits, these points of difference need to be thought through sooner rather than later.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)489-507
Number of pages19
JournalAustralian Journal of Social Issues
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2014


  • nonprofit organisations
  • policy
  • public health
  • social policy
  • social welfare

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