The right to health: issues of citizenship, power and governance
Ilka Thiessen (Vancouver Island University)
Italo Pardo (University of Kent)
Callan CS1
Start time:
27 August, 2010 at 11:30
Session slots:


Social inequalities amongst citizens and between citizens and non-citizens reveal themselves in the bodies of people.  People might be passive players in the altering of their health outcomes, but active in how they negotiate the inequalities they experience. Difference and identity has been at the forefront of explaining the process of marginalisation, specifically pointing out some of the negative consequences of low levels of autonomy within marginalized groups making a critical difference to health. The panel will discuss the debates on citizenship and its legal and conceptual framework provided by the different ethnographic sites, that provide citizens right to equal access to health but not to the social determinants to health. Social determinants of health include: quality education, respect for social and cultural diversity, respect for gender orientation, equality, no experience of discrimination, safe and secure housing, jobs, adequate income support, social and addictions services, amongst other similar determinants. This review will highlight some of the challenging academic practical questions that have been raised regarding current understandings of health, bodies, identities, power and marginalization. The panel will argue that a major transformation in cultural self-preservation will not be dealing with the lofty issue of identity but with establishing the equal access to the social determinants of health as a citizen right.