Meanings of Health: Interrogating Structure and Culture

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Based on the argument that context ought to be centralized in discourses of health communication, this article applies the culture-centered approach to engage in dialogue about issues of health with 18 men in rural West Bengal. The culture-centered approach is based on dialogue between the researcher and the community members, with the goals of listening to the voices of cultural members in suggesting culture-based health solutions. In this project, our discursive engagement with the participants suggests that health is primarily constructed as an absence, framed in the realm of minimal access to healthcare resources. In a situation where the resources are limited, the participants discussed the importance of trust in their relationship with the local provider. Health was also seen as a collective resource that was both an asset of the collective and a responsibility of the collective. Finally, the participants also pointed out the ways in which corruption in the structure introduced a paradox in policy discourse and the material conditions of the participants.

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Health Communication, v. 23, issue 6, p. 560-572