Power, empowerment and health. Logical Relations and Ethical Implications

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Power, empowerment and health. Logical Relations and Ethical Implications

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Publication Other
Title Power, empowerment and health. Logical Relations and Ethical Implications
Author(s) Tengland, Per-Anders
Date 2012
English abstract
Empowerment has been on the agenda for many years, in a number of professional fields. It has been a primary goal for health promotion and public health. An ethical reason for discussing power and empowerment is that one way of evaluating how just a society is, is to look at inequalities in empowerment. But what kind of power is empowerment, and what is its relation to health? The paper discusses various kinds of power: ‘power to’, ‘power over’, ‘power with’ and ‘power within’. One conclusion is that ‘empowerment as a goal’ is a version of ‘power to’, i.e. the ability to produce intended effects – in the case of empowerment on one’s own “good” life. There are also connections to the other kinds of power. ‘Power with’ can be seen as the collective ability to control effects, and ‘power within’, e.g. self-confidence, can be seen as part of ‘power to’. Empowerment is to a much lesser extent a form of ‘power over’. Finally, health is defined in terms of ability and well-being. Health, it turns out, is a form of power, since (health-related) ability is necessary for having both ‘power to’, i.e. the (general) ability to produce intended effects, and empowerment, i.e. the (general) ability to control one’s ‘good’ life. A final ethical conclusion is that inequalities in health also constitute inequalities in empowerment, and they should, thus, be eliminated for a society to be just.
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) power to
power over
ability
quality of life
Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES
Note Reordering Power, Shifting Boundaries, XXII World Congress of Political Science, Madrid, July 8-12 2012
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/14857 (link to this page)
Link http://www.ipsa.org/events/congress/madrid2012 (external link to related web page)

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