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Health Place. 2009 Jun;15(2):606-613. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2008.10.001. Epub 2008 Nov 1.

"A good spot": Health promotion discourse, healthy cities and heterogeneity in contemporary Denmark.

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Unit for Health Promotion Research, University of Southern Denmark, Niels Bohrs Vej 9, 6700 Esbjerg, Denmark. Electronic address:
School of Psychology, Psychiatry and Psychological Medicine, Monash University, Australia.


Health promotion at a community level has gained popularity in recent decades within and outside academic environments. The health promotion discourse is part of a wider political discourse, aimed at empowering individuals to take control of their own lives and enabling them to be engaged, responsible and active citizens in their own communities. Key values of the discourse, deriving from a democratic and individualistic culture, are evident in how local authorities develop and implement policies aimed at promoting population health and wellbeing. In this article, we draw on data from a relatively poor multicultural Danish community incorporated in the WHO Healthy Cities Programme. We explore how key terms of the health promoting discourse are constructed, operationalized and resisted by different subgroups. The contradictions that emerge challenge how we comprehend communities in relation to safety and harmony, and how people within defined communities are involved in common community life.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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