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Health promotion and empowerment: a reflection based on critical-social and post-structuralist perspectives

Sérgio Resende Carvalho Denise Gastaldo About the authors

In this paper we describe the theoretical framework and the core strategies of health promotion followed by a critical intra- and extra-paradigmatic analysis of the key ideas of this movement. From an intra-paradigmatic perspective we privilege a critical social theory perspective for analyzing one of the key concepts of health promotion - empowerment - exploring its potential to transform community and professional practices in the field of health. Next, we reflect about health promotion from an extra-paradigmatic perspective, seeking in the post-structuralist theories new analytical possibilities for understanding the power relations that establish themselves on the basis of practices and policies of health promotion. Throughout this article, we articulate the explored theoretical principles to contextual questions and current debates in the field of health in Brazil.

Health Promotion; Collective health; Power; Empowerment; Public health

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