For the sake of health! Reflections on the contemporary use of social capital and empowerment in Danish health promotion policies

P. T. Andersen, S. K. Jorgensen, E. L. Larsen

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

Resumé

Social capital and empowerment are increasingly used as key concepts integrated into methods of building healthy communities and as means of explaining inequities in health status within the field of Health Promotion. Although applying these concepts in a public health context offers a more holistic and socially oriented approach to health, problems arise when they are used in an imprecise and inconsistent manner. Health Promotion ideology tends to be transformed into politico-ideological complexes of power that enforce either a republican or a neoliberal perception of what the good life consist of. This may lead health professionals to participate in political projects dressed as pure health promotion that risk neglecting the various ways people may become empowered or socially engaged in their communities. We use two examples to illustrate these tendencies. Both examples arise from community building projects that demonstrate intertwined use of empowerment and social capital as part of political discourse. However, it is our primary aim to account for the different origins of the concepts in order to clarify their differences and similarities and to discuss their potentials in the context of Health Promotion. We draw on a range of theories such as those suggested by Bourdieu, Coleman, Putnam, Mayo, Rappaport and Eklund. Social Theory & Health (2011) 9, 87-107. doi:10.1057/sth.2010.8; published online 1 December 2010
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftSocial Theory & Health
Vol/bind9
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)87-107
Antal sider21
ISSN1477-8211
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 2011

Citer dette

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For the sake of health! Reflections on the contemporary use of social capital and empowerment in Danish health promotion policies. / Andersen, P. T.; Jorgensen, S. K.; Larsen, E. L.

I: Social Theory & Health, Bind 9, Nr. 1, 2011, s. 87-107.

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

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