We have a lot to learn yet : a postcolonial lens in health promotion

McPhail-Bell, Karen (2014) We have a lot to learn yet : a postcolonial lens in health promotion. In (Ed.) AIATSIS National Indigenous Studies Conference - Breaking Barriers in Indigenous Research and Thinking : 50 Years On, 26-28 March 2014, National Convention Centre, Canberra, Australia. (Unpublished)

Abstract

Health promotion progresses a social justice and empowerment agenda and thus emphasises working with people to increase their control over their health. Certainly, Australia has experienced much success in this endeavour and is internationally recognised as a leader. However, health promotion has failed Indigenous Australians; a fact that is echoed in the health outcomes that ironically provide us with the “moral imperative” to act. Further investigation has also revealed health promotion’s foundation in colonial imaginings. Thus, this paper calls for the culture of health promotion to be examined as a risk factor for poor Indigenous health.

To complement this call, this paper presents findings of an ethnographic study of Indigenous health promotion practice, undertaken from a postcolonial and critical whiteness framework. These findings provide a narrative of strength and innovative approaches, highlighting the value of Indigenous knowledge. These findings also contradict the biomedical tendency to construct culture as illness-producing. More broadly, this study’s findings entail important lessons for health promotion to consider, if it is to move beyond the rhetoric, to truly increase people’s control over their health.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 69595
Item Type: Conference Item (Poster)
Refereed: No
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Health promotion, Public health, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, Indigenous people, Postcolonial
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Health Promotion (111712)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 Please consult the author
Deposited On: 31 Mar 2014 23:05
Last Modified: 02 Apr 2014 18:06

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