Now, of course, all research has elements of critique. Academics love critiquing their peers. And, critique, of course, is an important part of the process for producing scientific knowledge.
But to do critically-engaged research is different. A critical approach to public health research engages more explicitly with the politics of health.
It is research that doesn’t intend to just understand a phenomenon by uncovering “facts” that we gather through a specific “mechanical process”,13 but instead it is explicitly focused on challenging the status quo — challenging what “we” believe to be true in public health, and attempting to understand phenomena within the oppressive structures of our society in which those phenomena exist and/or emerge.9, 12