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The case for social marketing in public health 

The case for social marketing in public health
The case for social marketing in public health

Jeff French

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date: 19 January 2019

This chapter explores the influence of paternalistic conceptions of public health fostered by more generic state paternalism that stresses the responsibility of the state to influence health and the conditions that create it. The limitations of such an approach are reviewed. The chapter also explores the growing realization that governments and their agencies cannot deliver the significant shifts in population-level behaviour change alone, and the implications of this realization. The second half of the chapter sets out the case for a new citizen-informed model of public health practice informed by social marketing principles. The rationale and practical implications of this new citizen-focused model are explored, including the added value contribution that can be made to public health programmes and policy through the application of social marketing principles. The chapter ends with a review of why social marketing is being increasingly applied as standard practice in many parts of the world.

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