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America's social health [electronic resource] : putting social issues back on the public agenda /
Marque-Luisa Miringoff and Sandra Opdycke.
imprint
Armonk, N.Y. : M.E. Sharpe, c2008.
description
255 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.
ISBN
0765616734 (cloth : alk. paper), 9780765616739 (cloth : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
More Details
added author
imprint
Armonk, N.Y. : M.E. Sharpe, c2008.
isbn
0765616734 (cloth : alk. paper)
9780765616739 (cloth : alk. paper)
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
catalogue key
11346262
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 187-213) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2008-09-01:
Why is it there are clear, regularly reported economic reports for the US, but none for social issues? Miringoff (Vassar College) and Opdycke (Institute for Innovation in Social Policy) argue for a social report, an index of social health with 16 indicators covering issues across the life cycle. The authors have a position: the federal government should spearhead a national report with clear and measurable indicators with built-in triggers for action. Developing effective social policy requires regularly collected data that is widely understood by the public. This text contains substantive as well as methodological material. Readers see indexes developed by other countries and non-profits. Topics include affordable housing, infant mortality, unemployment, and others. The work is comparative, using 1970 (considered high in social well-being) as a base year. The GDP has risen while social welfare has declined; US infant mortality rates have improved, but 37 other countries do better; medical insurance has become less accessible. Miringoff and Opdycke provide practical suggestions for greater visibility, such as a social health page for newspapers. The authors neglect, however, political desire; many Americans reject improving social welfare. A readable book for studies in social policy, political science, and social work. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. S. D. Borchert emerita, Lake Erie College
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, September 2008
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Summaries
Main Description
Calling for a fundamental change in the focus of public policy in America, this book paints a vivid portrait of the nation's social health. Miringoff and Opdycke clearly show that social progress has stalled and the country's energies need to be directed at critical domestic issues in the years ahead. The authors propose a new agenda for monitoring America's social well-being built around sixteen key indicators of American life, such as infant mortality, teenage suicide, health insurance coverage, and affordable housing. They maintain that social conditions, like economic conditions, must be constantly monitored in order to have a clear sense of how we are doing as a society. The book builds on the work of the Institute for Innovation in Social Policy and argues that there needs to be a greater visibility for social issues--and a closer link between social reporting and public action--to better address the nation's social problems. It considers the critical role of the media in advancing public understanding of social issues, and examines important advances in the community indicators movement and international social reporting. Eye-opening and compelling, the book is a provocative centerpiece for policy debates and national initiatives on today's crucial domestic concerns.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgments
Introduction
Social Reporting in American Life
We Can Do Better: Toward a New Public Dialogue on Social Health
Shaping Everyday Discourse: The News Media and Social Issues
Social Reports: Institutionalizing the Reporting of Social Indicators
Measuring Social Health: The Index of Social Health and the National Survey of Social Health
A Closer Look: Key Indicators of Social Health
Social Indicators for Children
Infant Mortality
Child Poverty
Child Abuse
Social Indicators for Youth
Teenage Suicide
Teenage Drug Abuse
High School Dropouts
Social Indicators for Adults
Unemployment
Wages
Health Insurance Coverage
Social Indicators
Poverty, Ages 65 and Over
Out-of-Pocket Health Costs, Ages 65 and Over
Social Indicators for all Ages
Homicides
Alcohol-related Traffic Fatalities
Food Stamp Coverage
Affordable Housing
Income Inequality
Conclusion
Notes
List of Graphs and Tables
Selected Social Indicator Data Over Time
Technical Note on the Index of Social Health
Technical Note on National Survey of Social Health
Index
About the Institute/About the Authors
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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