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Tabea Bork-Hüffer

Migrants’ Health Seeking Actions in Guangzhou, China

Individual Action, Structure and Agency: Linkages and Change

292 p., 29 b/w ill, 37 b/w tables.
soft cover
ISBN 978-3-515-10177-6


Existing research on health seeking is characterized by an abundance of empirical studies and a lack of theoretical grounding. This book provides a new approach, a social theory that conceptualizes the various interlinkages and interdependencies of structure (e.g. regulation in health care and occupational systems, cultural norms and health beliefs), different types of agents (e.g. administration, health practitioners, NGOs, social organizations and networks) and individual action. It makes a substantial contribution to the social theory debate and expands existing approaches to health seeking with the concept of health seeking action. By providing a theoretical explanation of change it illustrates the impact of current dynamics in China.
The approach is applied to rural-to-urban migrants in Guangzhou, China. Migrants are a new and constantly growing segment of the population that has emerged in Chinese cities since the beginning of the reform era. Their lack of access to health care has resulted in various different alternative health seeking actions. A considerable number of factors that influence health seeking are identified that have not been considered in existing works.

Die Arbeit wurde mit dem Dissertationspreis des Verbandes der Geographen an Deutschen Hochschulen ausgezeichnet.


"A fresh and unusual perspective on the situation of migrants in Guangzhou. […] TABEA BORK-HÜFFER has managed to deliver a book that will be of great interest for all human geographers, since she has managed to enrich our knowledge on migrants well beyond the stylized facts, with a mixture of qualitative interview statements and comprehensive background information that is appropriate for fully grasping the complexity of the socio-economic role of migrants in southern China and their particular health-related problems."
Stefan Hennemann, Erdkunde 67, 2013/1

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