Expert Answer:COM 705 Public Policy: Health Communication

  

Solved by verified expert:A QC is a 3-4 page (single spaced) summary, commentary, and question(s) of the assigned readings for the class period/topic. You should summarize each reading for that class period/topic (you do not need to summarize any popular press readings). Each article summary should be approximately 1 paragraph (be concise). This is your chance to demonstrate that not only did you do the readings, but you can cull out the major elements of the readings and make connections between readings. After the summaries, you should write a brief commentary that includes reactions to the readings, connections you see between the readings, and/or concerns you have about the readings (arguments against, etc.). This section will be 1-2 pages. Finally, you should pose questions—questions you still have after completing the readings, questions about connections, theoretical questions, etc. This section is incredibly important as I will use your comments to guide our discussions.Other important information for the assignment:4 points for summary5 points for commentary1 point for questions2. Each QC should be typed and proofread. Also, don’t forget to put your name and the class topic at the top of the QC (just to make sure that you didn’t post to the wrong assignment post).3. You do not need a title page or reference page (unless you are citing material not covered in class).4. Make sure to follow APA format rules—12 point font, Times New Roman, 1” margins on each side.No pologarizmEvery article has main idea try to find that main idea and what they found about it. DON’T USE ABSTRACT.I will add the articles and an example of how to do it.
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Kris Inman
COM 705 QC #16 (for Monday, April 23rd)
Public Policy – Economics and Health
Reading Summaries
Zoller (2008)
Zoller makes a strong case in this chapter in regard to the influence of global economic
and trade agreements on public health. Though perhaps not immediately obvious, the
ways in which these agreements “privilege market efforts over the normative foundation
that supports public health efforts” (p. 392) is conclusively presented by Zoller.
Essentially, Zoller makes the point that the rising power of these market-based policies
are encouraging the WHO to disregard comprehensive approaches to social change in
favor of more discrete, individualistic campaigns. Looking at critical theorists, she
effectively points out the way that things like poverty and pollution, having been tied to
health and disease, are treated as issues of the common good. The prioritization of
“intervention in political, economic, and social inequities as the work of health
promotion” (p. 393) is key to this view. The trade agreements, though, act to
individualize the idea of health, leaving absent the sort of health discourse that prioritizes
social change. Zoller also points out that health communication scholars play a role, as
they tend to operate within the dominant discourse of public health, “with little attention
[paid] to the social and political circumstances of target audiences” (p. 394). Zoller
finally moves to three specific trade mechanisms as neoliberal technologies, looking at
both their material and symbolic influence on public health and its promotion, describing
the problems the policy defines, the guiding political rationality, and technologies of
implementation. Structural adjustment (loans to developing nations), harmonization (a
standardization of sorts stemming from trade negotiations), and Investor-to-state lawsuits
(which allow corporate legal claims against governments for lost profits and potential
profits due to domestic laws) are all examined and broken down in regard to their
influences on both health in general and public health actors. These globalization
policies clearly impede health promotion. In the commentary below, I’ll discuss this
further.
DeSouza, Basu, Kim, Basnyat, & Dutta (2008)
This chapter, while referencing Zoller’s chapter before it, continues to look at the ways
that neoliberal trade agreements undercut health – but this chapter focuses in on the ways
in which the agreements specifically impact food security and health. While Zoller
employed a critical approach, the authors of this chapter use a multicultural lens in order
to “illuminate the causes and consequences of health inequities in the world” (p. 413).
They also look at the way that three major trade related policies (GATT, AoA, and
TRIPS) extend beyond their intended purpose to create issues of poverty, poor health,
and diminished food choice for developing countries. This occurs while, at the same
time, countries like the United States are increasingly protected and advantaged by
agreements that, in favoring the free market, deemphasize the developing countries to a
huge extent. Specific cases are presented in regard to each of the three aforementioned
trade policies, with examples and specifics highlighted which demonstrate the manner in
which each policy favors stronger nations to the detriment of the developing countries.
GATT is presented in regard to the “banana war” pitting Latin America, Africa and the
Caribbean and Pacific, and U.S. and European stakeholders; The authors discuss the AoA
in terms of the impact on sugar in the pacific islands; and TRIPS is discussed in regard to
its impact on intellectual property and traditional knowledge in the case of basmati rice
and subsequent patent approval for an American company to the detriment of India and
Pakistan. Throughout this chapter, the authors (as Zoller did in the previous chapter)
make a strong case for health communication as needing to free itself from the contraints
of policy frameworks, which are handed down to us. Giving voice to those who are not
truly represented by these agreements is key. The quote which best sums up the chapter
(if not both chapters): “Hunger is not caused by lack of food in the world, but rather by
the inability of hungry people to gain access to the plentiful food that exists” (p. 425).
Commentary
These were intriguing, powerful chapters for today. These chapters represent, I think,
what health communication scholars can do insofar as illuminating issues that might otherwise
go unnoticed by most. On its face, the idea of trade agreements would seem to be a win-win for
everyone involved. I would wager that most people feel that way. They tend to be favored and
forwarded by politicians from both sides of the aisle, and they would appear on the surface to be
pro-consumer oriented. But Zoller and DeSouza et al. quickly put the focus on the privileging of
commercial interests and favored, developed nations to the detriment of those who have little
opportunity to voice any sort of public displeasure. In fact, I think the authors of both chapters
illustrate the almost complete invisibility of those for whom trade agreements mean poor health,
little food, and decidedly unfair playing fields.
I think that what impacts me in the reading the most is the way that trade agreements are
constructed and sold on the concept of a “level playing field.” Giving everyone equal access and
opportunity, while removing preferred deals and agreements certainly seems like a good idea in
general. But, Desouza et al. methodically pick apart much of this in their case studies from the
three policies that they discuss (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, Agreement on
Agriculture, and the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights). The
so-called inhibiting of preferential treatment in regard to deals that island nations enjoyed in
regard to sugar exports to the European Union really stood out, I thought. That the developed
countries were then also allowed into these nations’ markets, even after any chance they had to
compete was removed, is especially egregious. Who is reporting this? While many in the
scholarly community may be aware, who among general populations knows or even begins to
concern themselves with this? I was also amazed at the so-called TRIPS agreement and its
supposed protection of intellectual property (If it is not patented, it is not owned). Who but those
with the most power stand to get these patents, as DeSouza et al. point out in regard to Texas
company RiceTec? That this is allowed and essentially unknown is really unbelievable to me. If
you’ll allow me (one final – maybe) analogy, this is not unlike a high school team facing the
Dallas Cowboys – but Dallas is given the ball first, a 30-point lead, and home field advantage.
No one would stand for this. People would laugh at the absurdity of it and be outraged at the
sheer audacity. Yet it continues in a much more dramatic and impactful scenario that
undermines the health and wellness of many. Unbelievable.
As DeSouza et al. do in dissecting and illuminating the aspects of the three policies that
they discuss, Zoller effectively picks apart and exposes the ways that three neoliberal
technologies (structural adjustment, harmonization, and investor lawsuits) impede global health
promotion, doing so from critical perspective that demonstrates how so-called “free trade” has
resulted in no less than a full public health crisis. I was particularly struck by the dichotomy of
harmonization. When you read of harmonization that it is an attempt by states and industries to
make uniform regulatory requirements, it seems as though it is a good, common sense approach
to trade. When you read, just a few paragraphs later (as an example of harmonization in practice
by industry) that Japan and the European Union feel that U.S. nutrition labeling requirements are
too trade restrictive and should just be voluntary as a result, it’s no less than amazing. The idea
of constructing a burden to prove a substance harmful before it can be regulated, and doing so in
the name of uniform regulatory requirements? Unreal. ISLs, too, become more sinister the more
you read. Delegitimizing state action in protecting the public (with public health and safety
measures becoming potentially actionable offenses) is the stuff of James Bond villains.
Clearly, these readings had an impact on me. Am I a bit melodramatic in my
interpretations? Perhaps. But this stuff needs to be out there, as all the authors point out. And if
you can’t get fired up about the idea of exposing it, you probably shouldn’t be here.
Questions
Are these issues that mainstream America is capable of caring about? Even with wider exposure,
is American apathy the trade agreements’ best asset?
If these issues are framed as “big government” (Democratic) vs. “free market” (Republican), are
we then doomed to the sort of political impasse that results from virtually any discussion that pits
right vs. left?
What sort of specific work can heath com scholars to do begin to make an impact?

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