Review Of "Diseases Of Globalization: Socioeconomic Transitions And Health" By C. McMurray

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McMurray (demographer, Secretariat of the Pacific Community) and Smith (Centre for Asia-Pacific Studies, Nottingham Trent Univ.) examine the relationship among globalization, development, the distribution of wealth, and health. The authors incorporate a complex set of considerations including politics, economics, and the ways in which globalization affects health determinants, e.g., nutrition, adoption of risky behaviors such as smoking, and environmental factors. Further, they consider, using Mongolia, Uzbekistan, and the Marshall Islands as the foci of case studies, the ways in which these general factors are mediated by cultural and social characteristics of specific countries. Case studies are preceded by general discussions of the relationship among globalization, development, and wealth distribution; the determinants of patterns of health and illness over time and across countries; and the process of marginalization, by which some countries are relegated to the periphery relative to the core of powerful countries, with its associated effects on wealth and health. Applying this framework in the three case countries, the authors conclude that uneven patterns of development have resulted in a distribution of wealth adversely affecting health status in countries designated as marginalized. Most accessible to advanced students and researchers.


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