Environmental health research: setting an agenda by spinning our wheels or climbing the mountain?
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This paper examines the nature and characteristics of research in environmental health, viewed as the effects of the environment on human health. It is argued that most of this work has been predicated on an epidemiological approach which has yielded significant (if sometimes equivocal) findings about exposure-outcome relationships. This discussion, however, concentrates on the limited and somewhat partial view of theory implied in this perspective. It advocates instead a broad-based approach to theory as the basis for understanding significant portions of the social world. It posits, as illustrations, several social theories and with examples tries to show how environmental health research might be different.
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