Health is everywhere: Unravelling the mystery of health
The course begins by exploring the notion implied in the title that health pervades all parts of our public and private lives. It will become clear that although health is everywhere, it takes different forms and has different meanings for different people and in different contexts. We all have our own versions of health and you will be able to check yours against a range of other views, including the views of the team who were responsible for producing this course. We think this is important because, as you will increasingly become aware as you work through these materials, the way we view health affects the way we work for health, and in our case the way we write about it.
The subject of accounting for health has been widely researched in the last 25 years. This course explores the literature which looks at differences between individuals and groups of individuals on the basis of gender, age, class and ethnic origin. The significance of ‘lay’ and ‘professional’ accounts of health has exercised academics and policy makers alike, and so the relationship between lay people and professionals, and the implications this may have for practice, will be addressed in the course.
Having explored a rich and diverse range of accounts of health, we will move on to try to set some boundaries around the concept of health and explore its relationship to quality of life, before engaging with the interrelatedness of health, illness and disease. In doing this we will focus on the work of Aaron Antonovsky, who spent his working life trying to unravel the mystery of health. Indeed, it was he who coined the phrase ‘unravelling the mystery of health’ (1987).
This OpenLearn course provides a sample of Level 2 study in.