W026
Attributing meaning to health and illness: the interaction between the local and the global

Convenors:
Imre Lázár (Semmelweis University)
Location:
Queens 1.15
Start time:
20 September, 2006 at 11:30
Session slots:
3

Short abstract:

The workshop investigates how particular understandings of health and illness are shaped by events, ideas and issues beyond the local.

Long abstract:

Today's increased and rapid movement of people, items and ideas encourages processes of attributing meaning to local events by social groups through reference to global ideas and international events. How health and illness are understood locally also depends considerably on what originates from or happens beyond the local. This workshop investigates how events, ideas and issues beyond the local shape popular understandings of health and illness in local social settings. We invite papers that discuss methodological and theoretical issues pertinent to the study of such processes, and describe and analyse particular examples. The study of how the local and the global coexist, merge, conflict and evolve, and what methodological and theoretical consequences can be drawn from such processes, deserves special attention. Our interest implies centre and periphery relationships from different angles, problems of migration, uprootedness, cultural bereavement and new identities in the context of multiculturalism, etc. We pay attention to such diverse issues as politics, economy, religion, human rights, and so on. Following the lead of this year's theme we are particularly interested in the influence of European issues on how social groups outside Europe understand health and illness. It is crucial to investigate also how these issues are spread, for instance through political, economic or other agents, mass media, migration, and so on. It is worthwhile also to focus on reverse processes, namely how perceptions, which were shaped through the interaction of the local with the global outside Europe, are then returning to Europe and influencing European perceptions of health and illness. This is particularly relevant for alternative forms of healing which can be observed all over Europe.