Health by association

Harris, Bernard (2005) Health by association. International Journal of Epidemiology, 34 (2). pp. 488-490. ISSN 0300-5771 (

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In their recent account of the relationship between social capital and the political economy of public health,1 Simon Szreter and Michael Woolcock distinguish between two different forms of social capital—‘bonding’ social capital and ‘bridging’ social capital—and identify a specialized form of bridging social capital called ‘linking social capital’, which is distinguished from other manifestations of bridging social capital by its emphasis on the construction of relationships between acknowledged social unequals. Their theoretical argument is buttressed by a historical case-study of the relationship between social action and the decline of mortality in nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century Britain.


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