Subject to empowerment: the constitution of power in an educational program for health professionals
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 16 (3):443-455 (2013)
Empowerment and user participation represents an ideal of power with a strong position in the health sector. In this article we use text analysis to investigate notions of power in a program plan for health workers focusing on empowerment. Issues addressed include: How are relationships of power between users and helpers described in the program plan? Which notions of user participation are embedded in the plan? The analysis is based on Foucault’s idea that power which is made subject to attempts of redistribution will re-emerge in other forms. How this happens, and with what consequences, is our analytical concern. The analysis is contrasted with ‘snapshots’ from everyday life in a nursing home. The program plan communicates empowerment as a democracy-building instrument that the users need. It is a tool for providing expert assistance to the user’s self-help. User participation is made into a tool which is external to the user him-/herself. Furthermore, the analysis shows that the plan’s image of empowerment presupposes an ‘élite user’ able to articulate personal needs and desires. This is not very applicable to the most vulnerable user groups, who thereby may end up in an even weaker position. By way of conclusion, we argue that an exchange of undesirable dominating paternalism for a desirable empowerment will not abolish power, but may result in more covert and subtle forms of power that are less open to criticism. The paper offers insights that will facilitate reflections on the premises for practising empowerment-oriented health care
|Keywords||Deconstruction Elderly Empowerment Foucault Governmentality Linguistic power User participation|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Jacques Derrida (1998). Of Grammatology. Johns Hopkins University Press.
Paulo Freire (2008/1986). Pedagogy of the Oppressed. In David J. Flinders & Stephen J. Thornton (eds.), The Curriculum Studies Reader. Routledge.
Hanne Hollnagel (2000). From Risk Factors to Health Resources in Medical Practice. Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 3 (3):255-262.
Julia Kristeva (1984). Revolution in Poetic Language. Columbia University Press.
Ursula Naue (2008). 'Self-Care Without a Self': Alzheimer's Disease and the Concept of Personal Responsibility for Health. [REVIEW] Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 11 (3):315-324.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Brian Thomas (2011). Unraveling and Discovering: The Conceptual Relations Between the Concept of Power and the Concept of Empowerment. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 14 (4):443-463.
Brian Howieson (2013). Mutuality, Empowerment and the Health-Wealth Model: The Scottish Context. [REVIEW] Health Care Analysis 21 (2):71-84.
Amy Allen (2008). Power and the Politics of Difference: Oppression, Empowerment, and Transnational Justice. Hypatia 23 (3):pp. 156-172.
Lineke B. E. Hal, Agnes Meershoek, Frans Nijhuis & Klasien Horstman (2012). The 'Empowered Client' in Vocational Rehabilitation: The Excluding Impact of Inclusive Strategies. [REVIEW] Health Care Analysis 20 (3):213-230.
Felicity Goodyear-Smith & Stephen Buetow (2001). Power Issues in the Doctor-Patient Relationship. Health Care Analysis 9 (4):449-462.
Philip Brey (2008). The Technological Construction of Social Power. Social Epistemology 22 (1):71 – 95.
K. D. Eason, S. D. P. Harker, R. F. Raven, J. R. Brailsford & A. D. Cross (1995). Expert or Assistant: Supporting Power Engineers in the Management of Electricity Distribution. [REVIEW] AI and Society 9 (1):91-104.
Deborah Cook (2001). Habermas on Reason and Revolution. Continental Philosophy Review 34 (3):321-338.
P. -A. Tengland (2012). Behavior Change or Empowerment: On the Ethics of Health-Promotion Strategies. [REVIEW] Public Health Ethics 5 (2):140-153.
Amy Allen (1998). Rethinking Power. Hypatia 13 (1):21 - 40.
Jay Drydyk (2008). Durable Empowerment. Journal of Global Ethics 4 (3):231 – 245.
Vivianne Baur, Tineke Abma & Ingrid Baart (2012). “I Stand Alone.” An Ethnodrama About the (Dis)Connections Between a Client and Professionals in a Residential Care Home. Health Care Analysis (3):1-20.
Per-Anders Tengland (2008). Empowerment: A Conceptual Discussion. Health Care Analysis 16 (2):77-96.
William L. McBride (1995). Power and Empowerment. Social Philosophy Today 10:171-181.
Matt Commers (2002). Determinants of Health: Theory, Understanding, Portrayal, Policy. Kluwer Academic Publishers.
Added to index2012-04-05
Total downloads8 ( #192,196 of 1,410,094 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #177,589 of 1,410,094 )
How can I increase my downloads?