In recent years, public health research has become increasingly focused on issues of social inequality and social disadvantage. This is because social issues, such as poor housing and unemployment, have been found to impact health significantly, and are now referred to as 'the social determinants of health'. As a result of this shift, public health is now principally concerned with what are historically considered to be social policy issues. This paper discusses the confluence of public health and social policy; it examines the opportunities and risks posed by this convergence for those working in social policy seeking to reduce poverty and inequality. We argue that, while much can be gained in the two fields by working more closely together, there remain fundamental differences in perspectives and approaches. In order to maximise benefits, these points of difference need to be thought through sooner rather than later.
|Australian Journal of Social Issues
|Published - 2014