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Interdisciplinary ResearchCase Studies from Health and Social Science$
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Frank Kessel, Patricia Rosenfield, and Norman Anderson

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195324273

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195324273.001.0001

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 Social Resources and Health

 Social Resources and Health

(p.292) 14 Social Resources and Health
Interdisciplinary Research

Michael Marmot

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the history of an interdisciplinary research program on the social, economic, cultural, and psychological determinants of health and the biological pathways by which they operate. The study dealt with the inevitable resistance to interdisciplinary research by, initially, breaking it up into small nonthreatening chunks and only later attempting to prove that the whole was greater than the sum of parts. A particular problem was that the research was addressing social inequalities in health. When the political climate was unfavorable, such research was seen to be, at best, irrelevant and, at worst, threatening. When the political climate in Britain changed, yesterday's pure academic research became today's applied science.

Keywords:   interdisciplinary research, biological function, illness, longevity, academic research, Whitehall studies

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