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Social representations and health psychology

Joffe, H; (2002) Social representations and health psychology. SOC SCI INFORM , 41 (4) 559 - 580.

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Abstract

The author examines the specific contribution that social representations research has made to health psychology. In particular, the approach highlights the symbolic, emotive and social aspects of how lay people make meaning of facets of health and illness, and emphasizes the importance of the evolution of these meanings. Empirical work on health and illness is used to cast light on the specific workings of social representations and on the enrichment of the health field offered by this naturalistic perspective, Distinctions are drawn between the social representations approach and other social constructionist approaches in the health field. In addition, the differentiation between social representations and more mainstream approaches to health issues is examined. Primarily, the social representations approach eschews the notion of human thought as analogous to information processing, with the attendant individualist, cognitivist and rationalist assumptions, and recognizes the importance of non-verbal material in the study of the human psyche.

Type: Article
Title: Social representations and health psychology
Keywords: emotions, meanings of health/illness, stigma, symbols, AIDS RESEARCH, BEHAVIOR, PREVENTION, COMMUNITY, PARADIGM, ILLNESS, RISK, SELF
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/129255
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