The Routledge International Handbook of Critical Issues in Health and Illness is a multidisciplinary reference book that brings together cutting-edge health and illness topics from around the globe. It offers a range of theoretical and critical perspectives to provide contemporary insights into complex health issues that can offer ways to address inequitable patterns of illness and ill health.

This collection, written by an international pool of expert academics from a range of disciplinary backgrounds, is unique in providing theoretical and critical analyses on key health topics, considering power and broader social structures that influence health and illness outcomes. The chapters are organised in three parts. The first covers medical contexts; here, chapters provide commentary and critical analysis of the history of medicine, medicalisation, pharmaceuticalisation, services and care, medical technology, diagnosis, screening, personalised medicine, and complementary and alternative medicine. The second part covers life contexts; chapters include a range of life contexts that have implications for health, including gender, sexuality, reproduction, disability, ethnicity, indigeneity, inequality, ageing, and dying. The third part covers shifting contextual domains; chapters consider contemporary areas of life that are rapidly changing, including bioethics, digital health, migration, medical travel, geography and "place", commercialisation, globalisation, and climate change.

The Routledge International Handbook of Critical Issues in Health and Illness is a key contemporary reference text for scholars, students, researchers, and professionals across disciplines, including sociology, psychology, anthropology, geography, medicine, public health, and health science.

part I|112 pages

Medical contexts

chapter 3|11 pages


chapter 4|13 pages


Origins, drivers, and new directions 1

chapter 6|12 pages

Health services and care

Political and affective economies

chapter 7|11 pages


A social and political phenomenon

chapter 9|13 pages

Personalised medicine

part II|126 pages

Life contexts

chapter 11|21 pages

Health inequality

chapter 12|11 pages

Beyond binary categories

A contemporary gender studies perspective on health and illness

chapter 14|14 pages

Reproductive justice

Revitalising critical reproductive health research

chapter 15|14 pages

Ethnicity and health

chapter 16|12 pages

Indigeneity and wellness

Critically understanding the health of Indigenous peoples and communities

chapter 18|13 pages

Health and illness among older people

What has age got to do with it?

part III|112 pages

Shifting contextual domains

chapter 20|12 pages


Critical reflections and future directions

chapter 21|15 pages

Digital health

chapter 22|13 pages

Migration and health

chapter 23|13 pages

Medical travel

Critical perspectives

chapter 25|16 pages


The role of unhealthy commodity industries