Special Issue "Doing Public Health Research Sociologically: Socio-Environmental Determinants of Health"

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Chris Sanders
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Sociology, Lakehead University, 955 Oliver RdThunder Bay, ON, P7B 5E1, Canada
Interests: public health; mental health: HIV prevention policy; HIV prevention
Prof. Laura Bisaillon
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
University of Toronto Scarborough, Department of Health & Society, 1265 Military Trail, Toronto, M1C 1A4 ON, Canada
Interests: medico-legal-bureaucratic decisions; migration; politics of health; social organization of knowledge

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The Sociology of Public Health extends the well-established field of the sociology of health and illness, which specializes in the social study of medical practice, health care delivery and access, and people’s experience of health and illness. This field addresses these issues, but at the population level by exploring the socio-environmental determinants of health. This field also asks questions about community health and spaces and places in which people live and work. Research in this field has many implications for public health practice ranging from program development and policy recommendations to deepening knowledge about social problems. Public Health Sociology is a subfield ripe for social investigation.

In this collection, we seek to attract empirically grounded analyses from authors engaging with public health and the socio-environmental determinants of health by using sociological ideas and fieldwork strategies. We invite contributions derived from applied sociological research on public health issues as well as inquiries using a critical social science lens to tackle normative assumptions. We define critical social science as inquiry calling into question the processes, limitations, and effects of practices that govern people’s lives where objectives include contributing to contemporary struggles against social injustice, inequality, human suffering, and oppression.

This Special Issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health will provide readers with analyses of underexplored, timely issues in public health by showcasing critical social science contributions in the subfield of the Sociology of Public Health. We welcome fieldwork commentaries, case studies, systematic and scoping reviews, concise meeting reports, visual analyses, and research papers. We are especially interested in evocatively written provocative ideas based on experimental empirical work exploring answers to questions in these areas:

  • occupational health and labour relations;
  • extractive industry and public health (e.g., petroleum, metals, gas);
  • interactions between public health, medicine, and the law;
  • forced (im)mobility and public health (e.g., environmental refugeehood);
  • public health practice in Indigenous communities, past and present;
  • food or housing insecurity and public health;
  • sociology of public health campaigns (e.g., vaccines, testing, fluorination);

Prof. Dr. Chris Sanders
Prof. Laura Bisaillon
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • critical social science
  • interdisciplinary
  • public health
  • qualitative research
  • social determinants
  • sociology

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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