The population, its health and social sciences

Research output: Contribution to journalReview Articlepeer-review


This commentary provides a glimpse into a conceptual history approach to the topic of public health. I focus primarily on the history of public health during the first half of the 20th century. I will also reflect on its entanglement with the social sciences in later times. The first two sections discuss three core elements of the concept of public health: the “public” or collective that the term refers to, “health”, and finally, “public health” as “health of a collective”. These elements are historical and political concepts, which means that they do not have a fixed definition, but need to be placed in their historical and political contexts. In the final section, I discuss some connections between social science and public health during the 20th century. © 2018, © The Author(s) 2018.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNordic Studies on Alcohol and Drugs
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)84–90
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018
MoE publication typeA2 Review article in a scientific journal

Fields of Science

  • 5142 Social policy
  • public health
  • population health
  • social problems
  • social sciences
  • conceptual history
  • Nordic countries

Cite this