Research Topic

Communicating for Social Justice in Health Contexts: Creating Opportunities for Inclusivity Among Marginalized Groups

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About this Research Topic

There is a need to address how health communication campaigns, materials, and interventions can be used to promote inclusivity among underrepresented and underserved groups in discussions about health. Multiple studies have been conducted on best practices for health and social media, patient education ...

There is a need to address how health communication campaigns, materials, and interventions can be used to promote inclusivity among underrepresented and underserved groups in discussions about health. Multiple studies have been conducted on best practices for health and social media, patient education materials, and conversations about health, but there is a need to extend these areas of research by taking a critical approach to health communication. This involves asking and answering questions about access to care, lack of representation in health campaigns, definitions of health and wellness across cultural groups, opportunities for health policy reform, and visual communication as a means for advocacy.

Marginalized groups should be given the tools for leveraging power in an effort to increase access to health resources, services, and care. Communication scholars, instructors, and professionals can use their research, insight, and experiences to advocate for change. Health communication interventions have predominantly focused on individual behavior change; however, there is a need to understand how health communication interventions can target change at a systems level. Therefore, we encourage the submission of works that emphasize a structural change approach, rather than focus solely on what individuals can do to change their health behaviors. Submitted works should include initiatives or recommendations for how systems, policies, governments, etc. can change to allow for improved health outcomes for its members.

Papers addressing power, health policy change, public discourse, social justice, and/or underserved communities in health contexts are welcome. Specifically, we encourage the submission of studies centered on critical public health literacy, cultural competence and cultural humility, and communicating for social justice through digital and new media. We also encourage the submission of manuscripts targeting visual communication as a means for advocacy among underserved communities, communication as a tool for mobilizing audiences in order to address unequal access to health resources and care, and the role of social media in facilitating and/or hindering health social movements. Finally, we welcome studies that consider the multiple ways that communication can constitute and embody diverse philosophies of health and wellness in a range of health care contexts and how it can serve as a tool for empowering audiences. Such approaches can extend across a range of healthcare contexts including patient-provider communication, medical education, directions for federal support, and policies involving legislation and insurance.

The goal of this collection of articles will be to highlight the multiple ways that communication can be used to identify and advocate for a variety of health-related issues (e.g., accessibility, inclusivity) across diverse groups. We welcome evidence-based, applied, theoretical, rhetorical, and critical cultural scholarship.


Keywords: Health Communication, Campaigns, Marginalized groups, Power, Policy


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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