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Postcolonial Studies of Health

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

Postcolonialism is best described as a critical perspective that interrogates the ways in which Western or “First World” nations construct and represent the non-West. As a field of study, postcolonial studies emerged within literary criticism, but has since gained prominence in several disciplines interested in historical-critical enquiry, for example, sociology, film, art history, cultural studies, legal studies, and more recently, health studies. Postcolonial studies of health seek to locate contemporary health issues within the historical frameworks of colonialism, and challenge the dominant Eurocentric assumptions that guide much of global health and health care management. Within the discipline of health communication, the adoption of postcolonial perspectives marks an increasing interest in the role of culture, context, and localized practices in shaping people's health meanings and ...

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