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Complementary Coexistence. A Constructivist Grounded Theory Study Exploring the Conceptualization of Health in The Philosophy of Buen Vivir / Sumak Kawsay

Hammarling, Maria LU (2017) MPHN40 20171
Social Medicine and Global Health
Abstract (Swedish)
Background: The Andean indigenous philosophy known as Buen Vivir or Sumak Kawsay, loosely translated into Good Living or Well Living, is rarely studied within the field of public health. The studied philosophy has been institutionalized in Bolivian and Ecuadorian constitutions, why it sets the agenda for health in the Andean region. The ongoing progression of the health definition, combined with global public health trends of multicultural alliances and international policies, create incentives to shed light on the studied philosophy. It is also of great interest to explore how the studied philosophy might contribute to the international field of public health.

Aim: The purpose of this study was to explore the conceptualization of... (More)
Background: The Andean indigenous philosophy known as Buen Vivir or Sumak Kawsay, loosely translated into Good Living or Well Living, is rarely studied within the field of public health. The studied philosophy has been institutionalized in Bolivian and Ecuadorian constitutions, why it sets the agenda for health in the Andean region. The ongoing progression of the health definition, combined with global public health trends of multicultural alliances and international policies, create incentives to shed light on the studied philosophy. It is also of great interest to explore how the studied philosophy might contribute to the international field of public health.

Aim: The purpose of this study was to explore the conceptualization of health within the given Andean indigenous philosophy. The ambition was also to create an understanding for how the conceptualization could contribute to the international field of public health.

Methods: Data was collected from a fluent set of twenty-five written documents, that discuss and/or explore the studied philosophy. The data was analyzed using Charmaz’ (2006) constructivist grounded theory approach.

Findings: Based on the gained understanding of the studied philosophy’s conceptualization of health, this study presents a conceptual model of health. The model consists of the three categories of Nurturing life, Being part of totality, and Setting one’s own agenda, where each category is defined by various properties.

Conclusion: The philosophy’s conceptualization of health defines health as multidimensional and collectively constructed, where self-determination is key. Furthermore, the study found that a definition of health should account for health’s constant need of cultivation of all dimensions, also including nature. International public health-work should therefore operate on a community level, ensuring setting sensitivity, with an extended rights-based approach. In addition, the study found that preventative public health-work should aim for complementary coexistence, emphasizing an intercultural and intergenerational perspective. (Less)
Popular Abstract
This study has looked upon how a philosophy called Sumak Kawsay or Buen Vivir explains what health means. The studied philosophy has its origins in the Andes in Latin America. The reason why this study was done came from the writers wish to understand what the philosophy meant, and how it could be used within public health-work. The writer thought that it is important to include different explanations of health, and that this study could bring new ones.

The question that guided this study was “How is health conceptualized in The Philosophy of Buen Vivir/Sumak kawsay?”, which was about to be answered by a constructed model.

Twenty-five different types of texts and written documents about The Philosophy were read and analyzed, in order... (More)
This study has looked upon how a philosophy called Sumak Kawsay or Buen Vivir explains what health means. The studied philosophy has its origins in the Andes in Latin America. The reason why this study was done came from the writers wish to understand what the philosophy meant, and how it could be used within public health-work. The writer thought that it is important to include different explanations of health, and that this study could bring new ones.

The question that guided this study was “How is health conceptualized in The Philosophy of Buen Vivir/Sumak kawsay?”, which was about to be answered by a constructed model.

Twenty-five different types of texts and written documents about The Philosophy were read and analyzed, in order to generate an answer to the question of the study.

The results showed that The Philosophy’s view on health could be explained by a model consisting of three different categories that were named: Nurturing life, Being part of totality and Setting one’s own agenda. These categories covered several different aspects each, which explained in more detail what each category meant. Thereafter, the author of this study discussed how the discovered health concept could be used when talking about the more general health definition, and also how it could be used when working within the field of public health.

The study’s conclusion was that the studied philosophy’s view of health has many interesting aspects that are possible to use both when thinking about what health can mean and also when planning and working in the field of public health. For instance, health should be understood as something that needs to be taken care of on all levels surrounding us, since health is created when everything is in balance and harmony. When working with public health, it is therefore suggested to work with communities, and form the work together with community members to match their needs and values. It is important to make sure that all existing features of the community, including nature, are involved and have their rights protected.

Finally, the author suggested that additional studies about The Philosophy should be done, to get an even better understanding of The Philosophy and how it can be used in a good way within public health. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Hammarling, Maria LU
supervisor
organization
course
MPHN40 20171
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Intergenerational, Intercultural, Complementary Coexistence, Community, Grounded Theory, Public Health, Sumak Kawsay, Buen Vivir, Indigenous, Nature, Good Living, Well Living, Wellbeing
language
English
id
8921757
date added to LUP
2017-07-17 09:14:53
date last changed
2017-07-17 09:14:53
@misc{8921757,
  abstract     = {Background: The Andean indigenous philosophy known as Buen Vivir or Sumak Kawsay, loosely translated into Good Living or Well Living, is rarely studied within the field of public health. The studied philosophy has been institutionalized in Bolivian and Ecuadorian constitutions, why it sets the agenda for health in the Andean region. The ongoing progression of the health definition, combined with global public health trends of multicultural alliances and international policies, create incentives to shed light on the studied philosophy. It is also of great interest to explore how the studied philosophy might contribute to the international field of public health.

Aim: The purpose of this study was to explore the conceptualization of health within the given Andean indigenous philosophy. The ambition was also to create an understanding for how the conceptualization could contribute to the international field of public health.

Methods: Data was collected from a fluent set of twenty-five written documents, that discuss and/or explore the studied philosophy. The data was analyzed using Charmaz’ (2006) constructivist grounded theory approach.

Findings: Based on the gained understanding of the studied philosophy’s conceptualization of health, this study presents a conceptual model of health. The model consists of the three categories of Nurturing life, Being part of totality, and Setting one’s own agenda, where each category is defined by various properties.

Conclusion: The philosophy’s conceptualization of health defines health as multidimensional and collectively constructed, where self-determination is key. Furthermore, the study found that a definition of health should account for health’s constant need of cultivation of all dimensions, also including nature. International public health-work should therefore operate on a community level, ensuring setting sensitivity, with an extended rights-based approach. In addition, the study found that preventative public health-work should aim for complementary coexistence, emphasizing an intercultural and intergenerational perspective.},
  author       = {Hammarling, Maria},
  keyword      = {Intergenerational,Intercultural,Complementary Coexistence,Community,Grounded Theory,Public Health,Sumak Kawsay,Buen Vivir,Indigenous,Nature,Good Living,Well Living,Wellbeing},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Complementary Coexistence. A Constructivist Grounded Theory Study Exploring the Conceptualization of Health in The Philosophy of Buen Vivir / Sumak Kawsay},
  year         = {2017},
}