Community representatives : Representing the "community" ?
This paper takes as its starting point the apparent disjunction between the assumptions of the self-evidence of the meaning of community in major international declarations and strategies which promote community participation and the observation that meanings of « community » are a subject of extensive debate in literatures of social analysis and to some extent health.
Given that the word's meaning is not agreed, those working to promote « community participation » in health are forced to adjudicate on competing meanings in order to operationalise the notion.
This raises questions about how this is done and what are the implications of particular choices for what may be achieved by the participating « community ».
This paper presents the findings of an empirical study which examined the manner in which ideas of « community » are operationalised by people engaged in encouraging community participation in health promotion in the context of the selection of members for health for all steering groups in healthy cities projects in the United Kingdom.
It argues that the demands of the role of the « community representative » are such that particular interpretations of « community » achieve ascendance.
The paper explores the consequences of the interpretation of « community » as part of the « voluntary sector » and argues that this may compromise one of the stated desired outcomes of community participation i.e. extending democracy in health decision-making.
Mots-clés Pascal : Promotion santé, Santé communautaire, Participation, Représentation sociale, Santé, Prévention, Homme, Royaume Uni, Europe, Article synthèse
Mots-clés Pascal anglais : Health promotion, Community health, Participation, Social representation, Health, Prevention, Human, United Kingdom, Europe, Review
Notice produite par :
Inist-CNRS - Institut de l'Information Scientifique et Technique
Cote : 98-0163618
Code Inist : 002B30A03C. Création : 21/07/1998.