Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 16 (3):443-455 (2013)

Abstract
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)
ISBN(s)
DOI 10.1007/s11019-012-9412-x
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 71,379
External links

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

Of Grammatology.Jacques Derrida - 1998 - Johns Hopkins University Press.
Pedagogy of the Oppressed.Paulo Freire - 2008 - In David J. Flinders & Stephen J. Thornton (eds.), The Curriculum Studies Reader. Routledge.
Of Grammatology.Jacques Derrida - 1982 - Philosophy and Rhetoric 15 (1):66-70.

View all 14 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Towards a Genealogy of Pharmacological Practice.Ricardo Camargo & Nicolás Ried - 2016 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 19 (1):85-94.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Unraveling and Discovering: The Conceptual Relations Between the Concept of Power and the Concept of Empowerment.Brian Thomas - 2011 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 14 (4):443-463.
The Technological Construction of Social Power.Philip Brey - 2008 - Social Epistemology 22 (1):71 – 95.
Habermas on Reason and Revolution.Deborah Cook - 2001 - Continental Philosophy Review 34 (3):321-338.
Rethinking Power.Amy Allen - 1998 - Hypatia 13 (1):21 - 40.
Durable Empowerment.Jay Drydyk - 2008 - Journal of Global Ethics 4 (3):231 – 245.
Empowerment: A Conceptual Discussion.Per-Anders Tengland - 2008 - Health Care Analysis 16 (2):77-96.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2012-04-05

Total views
23 ( #495,364 of 2,519,663 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #406,756 of 2,519,663 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes