142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

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A conceptual history of social inequality in health and justice in the Federal Republic of Germany

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Sebastian Kessler , Institute of the History, Philosophy and Ethics of Medicine, Ulm University, Ulm, Germany
In the Federal Republic of Germany inequality is a key term in the three discourses of social epidemiology, political consulting and health policy. European scientific research on inequality in health commences with the Black Report in Great Britain in 1980. It is a starting point for a field of research that claims poorer people are more likely to fall ill. German social epidemiological research proves this crucial relationship for various diseases such as coronary heart disease, major depressive disorder or dental hygiene. This knowledge has been transferred to the health political debate in the German Parliament by an expert advisory board for public health issues. This advisory board has shaped the political concept of inequality since the publication of its first report in 1987. Consequently, the history and the contingent change of the concept are analyzed by comparing the development of the concept in the three discourses mentioned above.

The paper aims to contribute to the research on biopolitics by elucidating the historical phases in which ‘inequality’ was shaped as a concept of knowledge. The historical change and the reciprocal influence between the discourses are analyzed to better understand the concept of inequality in health. The reconstruction of the concept reveals the interdependence of denotation between social epidemiological research, political consulting and health political debate in the Federal Republic of Germany between 1975 and 2009.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Provision of health care to the public
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Analyze the construction of the concept of inequality in health for the specific example of the German discourse.

Keyword(s): Ethics

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: The research presented is part of my PhD Project.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.