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Culture and health: elements for the study of diversity and inequities

By María Claudia Duque Páramo

Abstract

La cultura es un elemento constitutivo del fenómeno salud-enfermedad que ha sido entendida de diferentes maneras en el campo de la salud pública. Este artículo explora la relación salud-cultura, articulando dos propósitos centrales: uno, revisar críticamente diversos conceptos de cultura, para llegar a considerar el poder como un elemento que estructura y determina la diversidad cultural de los sujetos sociales, y, dos, analizar las concepciones de cultura presentes en tres de los modelos que actualmente se integran en la práctica de la Salud Pública en Colombia y otros países de América Latina: historia natural de las enfermedades (HNE), atención primaria en salud (APS) y promoción de la salud (PS). En este contexto y como conclusión, se propone utilizar la cultura como una herramienta para comprender no sólo la diversidad de los sistemas de salud, sino las relaciones de poder que determinan diferencias e inequidades en el perfil epidemiológico. ABSTRACTIn the public health field, culture, which is an inherent element of the health-disease phenomenon has been understood in different ways. This article exsplores the relationship between health and culture linking two main purposes: First, analyzing culture as a concept widening it towards understanding the role played by power on structuring the cultural diversity and the social subjects; and second, analyzing the ideas about culture present on three of the current models of public health in Colombia and Latin America: The natural history of disease, primary health care, and health promotion. In this context, culture is proposed as a tool for understanding not  only the health systems' diversity but also the power relations determining inequalities in the epidemiological profile of the population.In the public health field, culture, which is an inherent element of the health-disease phenomenon has been understood in different ways. This article exsplores the relationship between health and culture linking two main purposes: First, analyzing culture as a concept widening it towards understanding the role played by power on structuring the cultural diversity and the social subjects; and second, analyzing the ideas about culture present on three of the current models of public health in Colombia and Latin America: The natural history of disease, primary health care, and health promotion. In this context, culture is proposed as a tool for understanding not only the health systems' diversity but also the power relations determining inequalities in the epidemiological profile of the population

Topics: Salud, Salud; Cultura; Enfermeria; Health; Nursing; Culture, Enfermería
Publisher: Pontificia Universidad Javeriana - Facultad de Enfermería
Year: 2011
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