Empowerment: A Conceptual Discussion

Health Care Analysis 16 (2):77-96 (2008)
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Abstract

The concept of ‘empowerment’ is used frequently in a number of professional areas, from psychotherapy to social work. But even if the same term is used, it is not always clear if the concept denotes the same goals or the same practice in these various fields. The purpose of this paper is to clarify the discussion and to find a plausible and useful definition of the concept that is suitable for work in various professions. Several suggestions are discussed in the paper, for example control over life or health, autonomy, ability, self-efficacy, self-esteem, and freedom, and it is concluded that there are two plausible complementary uses, one as a goal and one as a process or approach. Empowerment as a goal is to have control over the determinants of one’s quality of life, and empowerment as a process is to create a professional relation where the client or community takes control over the change process, determining both the goals of this process and the means to use

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References found in this work

The Theory and Practice of Autonomy.Gerald Dworkin - 1988 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
Pedagogy of the oppressed.Paulo Freire - 1986 - In David J. Flinders & Stephen J. Thornton (eds.), The Curriculum Studies Reader. Routledge.
The Theory and Practice of Autonomy.Gerald Dworkin - 1988 - Philosophy 64 (250):571-572.
Pedagogy of the Oppressed.Paulo Freire - 1970 - New York: Bloomsbury Academic. Edited by Myra Bergman Ramos, Donaldo P. Macedo & Ira Shor.

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