Our Mission

The Center for Critical Public Health is a research group committed to shifting the rules of engagement in public health. Our research centers the multiple experiences, values, and beliefs of people whose voices are often left at the margins. We analyze the extent to which public health practice and policy-making are aligned with the everyday lives of people who experience health inequities. We highlight the public(s) in public health.

What is Critical Public Health?

Critical Public Health is an approach that challenges the status quo in public health, questions what have come to be defined as problems, and breaks down fundamental assumptions by considering them within the context of the social systems in which they are created.  In the moment, critical perspectives in public health are often under-recognized and left at the margins. It is only far later when their value is appreciated and they are adopted into the mainstream.  This was true, for example, of the social determinants of health—a perspective that was once underappreciated and now dominates mainstream public health approaches. Too long have critical perspectives been left at the margins—we work to play a role in integrating these perspectives into public health practice.

To learn more, take a look at our Suggested Readings in Critical Public Health and Critical Approaches to Qualitative Research.