Re: r.e. Construction of Health

Jacqui Costigan (
Fri, 20 Nov 1998 10:50:00 +1000

>Uri (& anyone willing to engage on this):
> I'm thrilled to see that your working on this issue. I will have to take
>some time to try to recall some precisely relevant citations. For the
>moment, let me offer some of my own lines of inquiry on this (I have this
>"unhealthy" impulse to just jump into this one).
>My first constructivist teachers (Nietzsche via some translators, and
>people working in the organismic developmental tradition), led me to see
>"health" as one of a number of powerful vehicles for smuggling fundamental
>teleological notions, concealed beneath layers of observation and fact.
>Other similar term inc lude "development" and "progress." I addressed this
>in the opening (and less controverial) pages of of the '96 PCP paper for
>which I took so much heat. I think you have a copy, if not, I can email
>you (or anyone else) a copy of the relevant pages.
>Such concepts have a rhetorical force on how we perceive society and
>ourselves (e.g. I construe my self as having impulse "x" impulse, and
>construe impulse "x" as unhealthy, regressive, age inappropriate or
>otherwise bad and I experience myself as having unhelathy/bad impulses).
>Here, the social construction of "health," "progress," and "development"
>(or my construction of it) impacts my self construal. Therefore, I think
>the better known work on progress ("The idea of Progress") and devolopment
>is conceptually relevant, as is work on the opposite of health (e.g.
>Sander Gilman's work on "Difference and Pathology," including the book by
>that name).
> David Vogel


I'd really appreciate a copy of your paper. Jacqui Costigan

Jacqui Costigan
Senior Lecturer in Applied Psychology
School of Public Health
La Trobe University, Bundoora 3083
Phone: 9479 5799. Fax: 9479 1783 Mobile: 0419 511 283