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The Role of a Community Organizer

S.Rengasamy, Madurai Institute of Social Sciences, Madurai, Tamilnadu, India

(http://cdmissmdu.blogspot.com/ http://cdmiss.wordpress.com/ http://rengasamy.onsugar.com/)

http://cdmiss.wordpress.com/ http://rengasamy.onsugar.com/) Let us be proud of what we are doing organizing is people.
Let us be proud of what we are doing

Let us be proud of what we are doing

organizing is people. work as a volunteer. a master plan hatched in 'spontaneous' like a toxic waste dump. base their work on cells of clandestine could achieve their Organizers can differ on seem to be base values.

However, all organizers believe in people, in the ability of regular folks to guide their lives,

The soul of community An organizer might be paid or The group could start as part of a smoke filled room or out of a community reaction to a crisis Community Organizers might house by house meetings or conspirators. The ultimate goal collective aspirations. strategy, tactics, even on what

goal collective aspirations. strategy, tactics, even on what Role – Meaning & Definitions Prescribed or

Role – Meaning & Definitions

Prescribed or expected behavior associated with a particular position or status in a group or organization. normal or customary activity of a person in a particular social setting A role (sometimes spelled rôle as in French) or a social role is a set of connected behaviors, rights and obligations as conceptualized by actors in a social situation. It is an expected behavior in a given individual social status and social position. It is vital to both functionalist and interactionist understandings of society.

role - the actions and activities assigned to or required or expected of a person or group;

duty - work that you are obliged to perform for moral or legal reasons;

capacity - a specified function;

hat - an informal term for a person's role;

portfolio - the role of the head of a government department;

second fiddle - a secondary role or function; A position, or status, within a social structure that is shaped by relatively precise behavioural expectations (norms). A role has been described as the active component of

to speak for themselves, to learn the world and how to make it better. - Dave Beckwith and Randy Stoeker

S.Rengasamy - Role of a Community Organizer

S.Rengasamy - Role of a Community Organizer Just what organizers do can sound like any standard

Just what organizers do can sound like any standard job description - "administration, planning, policy decision-making, program and leadership development and action implementation, public relations activities, and service activities." But CO work takes form within the dynamics of community and struggle, requiring organizers to have an extraordinary range of competencies.

The organizer must thoroughly understand the characteristics and the power patterns of the community through extensive interviews and discussions with community members. The organizer is a listener. The organizer identifies and trains potential leaders. These potential leaders are not necessarily the titular heads of organizations. Through an extensive listening process issues or problems of concern to the people are identified. People must be

Community Organizers build organizations that maximize the power and participation of the people.

Community Organizers listen to the people

Community Organizers are responsible for sharing information and raising questions, options, alternatives and problems that affect the community.

Community Organizers identify and develop diverse group of members who agree to serve as the organization’s public voice in a variety of issues.

Community Organizers are attuned to the power relationships and political agendas surrounding an issue ,

Community Organizers develop sound organizing strategies based on his power analysis.

Community organizer’s role is to build public relationships,

Community organizer is to work with people to define problems and issues, and help them think through the strategies and tactics necessary to act with confidence and win.

Community Organizers recruit members, assist with fundraising, and integrate fundraising into every aspect of their organizing work.

Community Organizers ensure that their members receive a consistently high standard of appropriate and effective training.

Community Organizers enable the members to hold meetings that are productive and focused.

Community Organizers facilitate training and strategy sessions when needed

Community Organizers build evaluations into all aspects of their work.

Community Organizers strive to be accountable and hold others accountable in every aspect of their job .

Community Organizers always make time for follow-up.

Community Organizers strive to eflect on and improve their skills on an ongoing basis, and develop an annual self-development plan

Community Organizers challenge people to act on behalf of their common interests.

Community Organizers develop new relationships out of old ones

Community Organizers work through campaigns.

encouraged to talk about their views of the community and it is important that they realize that the organizer does not come with a preconceived program. An organizer must also be able to agitate people to act. "Until the people recognize that it is they who must do something about their own problems, and that it is only THEY who can be trusted to do the right thing - and until they realize that only if they organize enough power in their community that something can be done about these things, nothing will get done."

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S.Rengasamy - Role of a Community Organizer

S.Rengasamy - Role of a Community Organizer Sarah Palin, Vice Presidential candidate of USA made some

Sarah Palin, Vice Presidential candidate of USA made some comments on the experiences of Barack Obama, Presidential candidate as a community organizer in Chicago, during the election campaign. She said her stint as a small-town mayor was "sort of like a 'community organizer,' except that she had some actual responsibilities."Community organizers throughout USA united together and torn Sarah Palin into bits and pieces. Their reactions were truly inspiring, revealing the great role played by the community organizers.

I am a Community Organizer @ The Role of a Community Organizer

Community organizers have been at the root of any social change. While it can take many forms such as protests, petitioning, advocating, celebrations, canvassing, educating, registering voters, vigils, fundraising, marching, church meetings, neighborhood watches, government funded organizations, non-profits who rely solely on donations and volunteers, letter writing campaigns, feeding those without food, speaking for those who are not heard, listening to someone share her/his story, and many other ways, it always is done by working with people in the community. Community organizers are the first to respond to injustices that unfairly target certain groups of people. They are often from

the community they are advocating for, providing an authentic voice in an ever- increasing world of meaningless quips and political banter. While politicians talk about their "real responsibility", it is the community organizers who suffer with the community when policies fail and promises are broken.

the community when policies fail and promises are broken. It was community organizers who first questioned

It was community organizers who first questioned the rule of England in what would become the United States. It was community organizers that developed the Underground Railroad and demanded that all be free in this country. It was community organizers who insisted that

people of color and women have the right to vote. It was community organizers who advocated against child labor and for adequate public education. It was community organizers who saw a need to support the disadvantaged in our country and created social services. It was community organizers who fought for civil rights throughout history for countless groups. It was community

organizers who demanded that women have a choice about their bodies and when they have children. It was community organizers who spoke out about the violence perpetrated on targeted groups. It was

community organizers who protested war after war, and it was community organizers that advocated for veterens who were forgotten by the country who asked them to sacrifice all. It was community organizers who believed that everyone has the right to

practice the faith of their choice and called upon our government to create a separation of church and state. It was community

organizers who protected and supported when all others turned a blind eye. It was community organizers that fought for every right you have.

While politicians talk about their "real responsibility", it is the community organizers who suffer with the community when policies fail and promises are broken.

Community organizing is how ordinary people respond to out-of-touch politicians and their failed policies. It is no surprise that, after eight years of failed policies, millions of people have found that by coming together in their local communities, they can change the course of history.

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S.Rengasamy - Role of a Community Organizer

S.Rengasamy - Role of a Community Organizer It will be community organizers that make sure you

It will be community organizers that make sure you have your needs met should you not be

financially able to. It will be community organizers that help you raise your voice high so that you are not forgotten about in our society and

government. It will be community organizers that work to protect you should you be violently targeted for your identity. It will be community organizers who demand that your vote count. It will be community organizers who fight for your right to equal and adequate resources. It will be community organizers who demand that you have healthcare regardless of whether you can pay or not. It will be community organizers that insist on your right to age with dignity and proper support. It will be community organizers who work to ensure that you always have a choice. It will be community organizers who protect you from government corruption. It will be community organizers who will demand access to healthy and non-toxic foods and products for you. It will be community organizers who will fight for you when you cannot. It will be community organizers who stand by you when others walk away.

Social role posits the following about social behavior:

1. People spend much of their lives in groups.

2. Within these groups, people often take distinct positions.

3. Each of these positions can be called a role, with a

whole set of functions that are molded by the expectations of others. 4. Formalized expectations become norms when

enough people feel comfortable in providing

punishments and rewards for the expected behavior.

5. Individuals are generally conformists, and insofar as

that is true, they conform to roles.

6. The anticipation of rewards and punishments inspire

this conformity. Determinants and characteristics of social role Roles may be achieved or ascribed. An achieved role is a position that a person assumes voluntarily which reflects personal skills, abilities, and efforts. Roles are not forced upon the individual; a choice is involved. An ascribed role is a position assigned to individuals or groups without regard for merit but because of certain traits beyond their control (Stark 2007). Roles are forced upon the individual. Roles can be semi-permanent ("doctor", "mother", "child"), or they can be transitory. A well-known example is the sick role as formulated by Talcott Parsons in the late 1940s. In the transitory "sick role", a person is exempted from his usual roles, but expected to conform to transitory behavioral standards, such as following doctors' orders and trying to recover.

It would be easy for me to launch into a diatribe against the Republicans and promote the agenda of the Democratic party, but that's not what I want to do today. I want to take a moment to reflect on the deep saddness I felt when hearing

government leaders mock the hard work and history of so many in this country. I think of all those people, both past and present, who never had a convention in their honor or even heard so much as a thank you from these leaders for doing the work that should have already been done by the

A community organizer should have:  an understanding of development theories and concepts and processes
A community organizer should have:
an understanding of development
theories and concepts and processes of
community organizing
good social and community relation
skills to promote social integration in
the community
an ability to work with other teams of
professionals
the knowledge and skills to enable
communities to access specialized
technical assistance in instances when
this is needed
 sensitivity to the local culture
 gender-sensitivity.

government tasked with protecting us all. It frightens me that current leaders are so out of touch with the people in this nation that they would revel in their privileged status on television while many

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S.Rengasamy - Role of a Community Organizer

S.Rengasamy - Role of a Community Organizer that night went to bed worrying about when they

that night went to bed worrying about when they will get a job, where tomorrow's meals will come from, what to do if they get sick, or how to go on another day in a society that systematically denies them protection and equal rights. The remarks that night prove to me that there is still so much work to be done. No matter who wins the election in November, we must all continue to fight for what is rightfully ours and hold our government to the standards of nothing but excellence. Although we were mocked and disparaged that night, I know I am a small part of a great history of people who cared enough to do something when injustice occurred. I am proud to be a community organizer.

history of people who cared enough to do something when injustice occurred. I am proud to
history of people who cared enough to do something when injustice occurred. I am proud to
history of people who cared enough to do something when injustice occurred. I am proud to
history of people who cared enough to do something when injustice occurred. I am proud to

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S.Rengasamy - Role of a Community Organizer

S.Rengasamy - Role of a Community Organizer The Roles of the Community Organization Worker Kenneth L.

The Roles of the Community Organization Worker

Kenneth L. M. Pray.

"En-abler"

Murray G. Ross Professional roles

Guide, Enabler, Expert, and added more tentatively- Social Therapist

Violet Sieder

Enabler, Guide, and Expert—but added Educator and Interpreter, Mediator, Arbitrator, and Manipulator.

Robert MacRae

Enabler, Consultant (close to the conception of guide), Adult Educator, and Promoter.

The report on Defining Community Organization Practice

Enabler, Guide, "Helping groups to take action," and "Initiator of action through education, Demonstration, or other similar techniques.

Irwin T. Sanders – Professio- nal roles in Planned change

Analyst, Planner, Organizer for change, and Program administrator.

Roland Warren Purposive change agent

Enabler or Catalyst, Persuader, and Contestant

Charles F. Grosser Working with Urban poor

Enabler, "Broker," Advocate, and Activist.

Alan Connor

Educator, Adviser, Advocate, Broker, Initiator, and Stimulator

Desmond M. Connor "Development worker"

"Development worker"- Observer, Diagnostician, Strategist, and Stimulator.

Jack Rothman

"Guiding" and "Enabling" roles, ranging from "strongly directive" to "non-directive."

Roles agreed by different authors

(1) Enabler; (2) Guide, Consultant, or Expert; (3) Educator, Interpreter, or Persuader; (4) Initiator, Stimulator, Strategist; and (5) Promoter, Advocate, or Contestant.

Enabling means to supply with the means, knowledge, or opportunity; make able; The "broker" role involves putting people in touch with resources.

The roles of community organization workers on various jobs run the whole gamut from enabler, factfinder, analyst, planner, stimulator, broker, catalyst, interpreter, educator, conferee, negotiator, liaison worker, mediator, and consultant to organizer, agent, executive aide, advocate, promoter, strategist, social actionist, militant leader, and occasionally, perhaps, social statesman.

Skills in Community Organizing Development education and training Liberating education and popular education Different phases of the training program Advocacy and networking Techniques of a Community Organizer Structuring Situation analysis Problem analysis Role playing and socio-drama Education and promotion Demonstration Formal study Use of group dynamics and experiential learning in training Use of an expert/consultation Roles of Community Organizer Trainer Facilitator Advocate Researcher Planner Catalyst Enabler Helper Guide Initiator Broker Consultant Intervener

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S.Rengasamy - Role of a Community Organizer

S.Rengasamy - Role of a Community Organizer Orientation or Vision of a Community Organizer Every organizer

Orientation or Vision of a Community Organizer Every organizer must possess an orientation and political line which means a perspective that specifies an analysis of the situation; an assessment of the forces and the classes that are for and against change; the methods for change; and a concept of the alternative to the current system. While these necessarily have ideological underpinnings, an organizer may not have a systematized ideology but may develop

The Role of the Community Organizer The Community Organizer is a facilitator, animator, enabler and catalyst. As a Facilitator, the CO "provides" a process which will help the community discuss their situation, identify and prioritize issues and problems, identify solutions and formulate and implement plans to resolve the key issues and problems. The facilitator’s responsibility is to ensure that members of the community communicate and are satisfied with and committed to the decisions taken. As an Animator, the CO helps the community discover and use all its self-help potentials for creative and constructive team work. The animator stimulates people to think critically when identifying problems and finding new solutions. He/she motivates the people to share their concerns, information and opinions, set goals, make decisions and plan action. As an Enabler, the CO helps initiate a process of "liberation of initiatives." The enabler helps release the creative initiatives of the people and ensures that the development agenda evolves as part of the process of change and is not imposed. She/he also ensures that dependency is reduced through cooperative action and social education. Finally, the CO is a Catalyst, who hastens the process of change. The catalyst is successful when the organizing process has been fully internalized by the people. The community organizer also serves as a model, not only in words but also in deeds. A general rule that governs community organizers: If there is a conflict between authority (whatever that authority may be) and the

one in the process of struggle. Orientation and political line are not the sole possession of the members of political organizations. Every organizer must be clear on his political line and his orientation to the people.

To further clarify this issue, an organizer’s work is supported by a general orientation which may have different expressions in terms of a distinct political line. He/she can be motivated by religious faith – Hindu, Christian, Islamic or faith in the power and the goodness of the people and their capacity to transform their reality. Tools for analysis which are drawn from Marxism, the social sciences and others are used. He/she is guided by a vision of an attainable future that is basically socialist and conforms, not to stereotyped images or to the mechanical duplication of foreign models, but to the actual needs and conditions of the people.

An organizer should exhaust all open and legal means for the attainment of this vision. However, when the people decide that the existing system can no longer be altered through such means,

an organizer must be open to using other

means,

Finally, it must be pointed out that behind every ideology, political line and orientation is an act of faith, a belief in an option or stand. The correctness of a position – while it may seem to be the absolute truth at one point in time – can really be judged only after a passage of time. Differences in positions, as well as the shift of an organizer form one position to another, for as long as it is consciously done, must be viewed from the vantage point of mutual respect. After all, time will tell which position was correct. What is necessary is openness to dialogue and an ethical relationship between those who possess different perspectives.

especially

the

right

of self-defense.

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S.Rengasamy - Role of a Community Organizer

S.Rengasamy - Role of a Community Organizer Skills Skill implies not only knowledge but the ability

Skills Skill implies not only knowledge but the ability to put knowledge to practical use; it connotes competence, ease and precision of execution, dexterity, efficiency and effectiveness and performance. Skill has been called the "ability to do the right thing at the right time". Skill, which primarily involves doing rather

than with either knowing or feeling includes:

- Interpersonal Skills – skills that have to do with relationships with individuals and groups. This includes

conflict management.

- Analytical skills – skills that have to do with fact-finding or data-gathering and interpretation of data or information for decision-making, problem-solving and conflict handling.

- Organization Development Skills

skills that have to do with setting up and sustaining organizations, planning and policy- making, organizing or determining appropriate organizational structure design, political and legislative skills, administrative skills, strategy design and implementation and communication.

- Training Skills – skills that have to do with capability building of members of the

community organization, training needs and analysis, formulation of curriculum and training design, instruction skills and the use of training methodologies and training monitoring and evaluation. Skill, when highly developed brings about automatic or nearly automatic responses to situations.

Organizers’ Goals in Assisting Communities. There are three types of objectives for a community organizer. These are

1. Task Goals – goals concerned with the

identification of objectives and the development of

the means and resources to carry them out or implement them.

2. Process Goals – refer to the enhancement and

strengthening of the community members,

competence for participation, self-direction and cooperation.

3. Relationship Goals – focus on changing certain

types of social relationships and decision making patterns in the community.

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S.Renga samy - Role of a Community Organizer

S.Renga samy - Role of a Community Organizer Understanding Disasters to p lay the role of

Understanding Disasters to p lay the role of Community Organizers durin g Disasters

to p lay the role of Community Organizers durin g Disasters Disa ster A dis aster
to p lay the role of Community Organizers durin g Disasters Disa ster A dis aster

Disa

ster

A

dis

aster is the tragedy natural or man-

of

a

mad

e

hazard (a hazard

is

a

situation which

pose

s a level of threat to

life,

health, property, or

envir

onment) that

nega

tively affects

socie

ty or environment.

In

co

ntemporary

 

acad

- ia, disasters een as the

em

are s

cons

equence of

 

inap

propriately

man

aged risk. These

 

risks

are the product of

haza

rds

and

vuln

erability. Hazards strike in areas with ulnerability are not

that

low v

cons

idered a disaster, as

is

the

case in

unin

habited regions.

 

Deve

loping countries

suffe

r

the greatest costs

whe

n

a disaster hits –

more

than 95 percent of

all

deaths

caused

by

disas

ters

occur

in

deve

loping

countries,

and

losses

due

to

natu

ral

disasters are 20

time

s

greater

(as

a

perc

entage

of

GDP)

in

deve

loping

countries

than

in

industrialized

coun

tries.

A

disaster

can

be

defin

ed

as

any

tragic

even

t

that may involve

at

le

ast

one

victim

of

Disaster management has four phase

s; mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery

/reconstruction.

Mitigation and preparedness are phas es before disasters occur and response and recover

y/reconstruction

are phase after disasters. Mitigation something for the time when peopl

means not causing any damages. Preparedness me e take damages. Response means evacuation or re

ans preparation scue soon after

disasters occur. And recovery/reco nstruction means rebuilding or improving soci

al

and natural

environment than states before disast

ers.

 

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S.Renga samy - Role of a Community Organizer

S.Renga samy - Role of a Community Organizer Understanding Civil Conflicts to play the role of

Understanding Civil Conflicts to play the role of Community Organizers

during Conflicts

Civil Conflicts / Wars James Fearon, a scholar of c ivil conflicts / wars at Stanford University,

states that "a civil

conflicts / war is a violent co nflict within a country fought by organized groups that aim to

take power at the center or in a region, or to change government policies".

Ann Hironaka specifies that civil conflicts is the state. disturbance becomes a civil

Some political scientists defin e as civil war as having more than

further specify that at least 100

The Correlates of War, a dataset conflict, classifies civil wars as

having over 1000 war-relate d casualties per year of conflict. This rate is a small fraction of the millions killed in the Second

Sudanese Civil War and Cam bodian Civil War, for example, but excludes several highly p ublicized conflicts, such as The

Troubles of Northern Ireland

National Congress in Aparthe id-era South Africa.

1000 casualties, while others must come from each side. widely used by scholars of

others must come from each side. widely used by scholars of in civil conflicts on one

in civil conflicts on one side of a The intensity at which a civil war is contested by academics.

and the struggle of the African

 

Examples of Livelih ood Assets, Conflict Shocks and Potential R esponses

Physical

Farm equipment, se eds, tools, sewing machi nes, vehicles, livestock, h ouses

Looting or destruction

Increa se security, distrib ute seeds/ tools/livestock, provid e housing support

Natural

Agricultural and graz ing land, water resource s, food, timber, fish

Burning, displacement, loss of access to grazing land

Negoti ate access, provide alterna tive resources, redistri bute land

Human

Labor power within a household, educatio n, skills, vocational training

Death, loss of productivity, disability; school &workplace closures

Emerg ency education, emplo yment schemes

Financial

Wages, access to cr edit, savings

Collapse of banking system, displacement causing unemployment

Micro- -credit, cash/food for

work,

Peace Markets

Social

Kinship structures, r eligious groups, neighborhoo ds

Displacement, fighting between groups

Conflic t resolution support; suppo rt to religious, neigh- borhoo d & other groups

Political

Citizenship, access t o political leaders, rec ourse to a functioning legal s ystem

Deterioration of state, loss of legal system

Consti tutional reform,, police/ judicial/human rights trainin g, election support

from 1816 to 1997,

104 of which occurred from 1 944 to 1997. If one uses the less-stringent 1 000 casualties total criterion, there were over 90 c ivil wars between 1945 and 2007, with 20 on going civil wars as of 2007.

Based on the 1000 casualties

per year criterion, there were 213 civil wars

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S.Rengasamy - Role of a Community Organizer

S.Rengasamy - Role of a Community Organizer Understanding health to play the role of Community Organizer

Understanding health to play the role of Community Organizer

Public health is "the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health through the organized efforts and informed choices of society, organizations, public and private, communities and individuals." It is concerned with threats to the overall health of a community based on population health analysis. The population in question can be as small as a handful of people or as large as all the inhabitants of several continents. Public health is typically divided into epidemiology, biostatistics and health services. Environmental, social, behavioral, and occupational health are also important subfields.

and occupational health are also important subfields. The focus of public health intervention is to prevent

The focus of public health intervention is to prevent rather than treat a disease through surveillance of cases and the promotion of

healthy behaviors. In addition to these activities, in many cases treating a disease may be vital to preventing it in others, such as during an outbreak of an infectious disease. Hand washing, vaccination programs and distribution of condoms are examples of public health measures.The goal of public health is to improve lives through the prevention and treatment of disease.

The United Nations' World Health Organization defines health as "a state of complete

physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.

Public health functions include:

Health surveillance, monitoring and analysis

Investigation of disease outbreaks, epidemics and risk to health

Establishing, designing and managing health promotion and disease prevention programs

Enabling and empowering communities to promote health and reduce inequalities

Creating and sustaining cross-Government and intersectoral partnerships to improve health and reduce inequalities

Ensuring compliance with regulations and laws to protect and promote health

Developing and maintaining a well-educated and trained, multi-disciplinary public health workforce

Ensuring the effective performance of NHS services to meet goals in improving health, preventing disease and reducing inequalities

Research, development, evaluation and innovation

Quality assuring the public health function

Public health programs Today, most governments recognize the importance of public health programs in reducing the incidence of disease, disability, and the effects of aging, although public health generally receives significantly less government funding compared with medicine. In recent years, public health programs providing vaccinations have made incredible strides in promoting health, including the eradication of smallpox, a disease that plagued humanity for thousands of years.

An important public health issue facing the world currently is HIV/AIDS. Antibiotic resistance is another major concern, leading to the reemergence of diseases such as Tuberculosis.

Another major public health concern is diabetes. In 2006, according to the World Health Organization, at least 171 million people worldwide suffered from diabetes. Its incidence is increasing rapidly, and it is estimated that by the year 2030, this number will double.

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S.Rengasamy - Role of a Community Organizer

S.Rengasamy - Role of a Community Organizer A controversial aspect of public health is the control

A controversial aspect of public health is the control of smoking. Many nations have implemented major initiatives to cut smoking, such as increased taxation and bans on smoking in some or all public places. Proponents argue by presenting evidence that smoking

Important Historical Figures in Medicine/Public Health and Social Justice

• Florence Nightingale

• Margaret Sanger

• Albert Schweitzer

• Charles Dickens

• George Orwell

• Upton Sinclair

• Anton Chekhov

• William Carlos Williams

Rudolph Virchow Argued that many diseases result from “the unequal distribution of civilization’s advantages” Advocated public provision of medical care for the indigent Promoted universal education Worked to outlaw child labor Improved water distribution and sewage system Enhanced food inspection process Published study of skull volumes to dispute myth of larger Aryan brains Passed hygiene standards for public schools Set new standards of training for nurses Improved local hospital system

is one of the major killers in all developed countries, and that therefore governments have a

duty to reduce the death rate, both through limiting passive (second-hand) smoking and by providing fewer opportunities for smokers to smoke. Opponents say that this undermines individual freedom and personal responsibility (often using the phrase nanny state in the UK), and worry that the state may be emboldened to remove more and more choice in the name of better population health overall. However, proponents counter that inflicting disease on other people via passive smoking

is not a human right, and in fact smokers are still free to smoke in their own homes.

other people via passive smoking is not a human right, and in fact smokers are still

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