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Health Citizenship

  • By: Philippa Spoel
  • In: Encyclopedia of Health Communication
  • Edited by: Teresa L. Thompson
  • Subject:Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology, Health Communication

Health citizenship is a concept developed by scholars in critical health studies to explore how public health systems and policies both presume and encourage particular kinds of citizen rights and obligations in relation to health care. The concept of health citizenship allows researchers to explore how sociopolitical and economic structures of health care influence local or individual experiences, practices, and understandings of health. It is relevant to the field of health communication because it foregrounds the role of public health discourses, policy debates, and health promotion campaigns in shaping what it means to be a health(y) citizen in diverse and changing contexts.

Historian Dorothy Porter describes how the idea of health citizenship first emerged at the end of the 18th century when French revolutionaries made health ...

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