Receding horizons of health: biocultural approaches to public health paradoxes.


Journal Article

Worldwide challenges to health reflect a "paradox of success," whereby both the strengths and the weaknesses of current approaches in public health, epidemiology, and biomedicine have determined the nature of the health problems we now face. In detail, we analyze and illustrate five constituent paradoxes that fuel continued health risk even in the face of success, including: (1) unmasking, (2) local biology, (3) socialization, (4) emerging and reemerging disease, and (5) savage inequity. We trace the pathways behind the paradoxes and their effects on health, and demonstrate that biocultural dynamics are involved in each. Furthermore, we track the roots of health paradox to changes that divert or disrupt pathways for production of health. These analyses contribute to an emerging literature of research and praxis on integrative biocultural models of health.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Worthman, CM; Kohrt, B

Published Date

  • August 2005

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 61 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 861 - 878

PubMed ID

  • 15950096

Pubmed Central ID

  • 15950096

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0277-9536

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.socscimed.2004.08.052


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England