Author(s): Kickbusch I
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Abstract About 10 years ago academics discovered the fact that people actually take care of themselves. This was a process rather reminiscent of the academic discovery of poverty in the sixties [1. Poverty Studies in the Sixties. A Selected and Annotated Bibliography. U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, Washington, D.C., 1970]. Like poverty, self-care had 'always been with us', but it had not been deemed worthy of scientific interest. Not only did this expose a gap within sociological research on health and medicine, it also gave new impetus to long-standing debates within sociology of knowledge and epistemiology. But not only academia discovered self-care. It was a key issue of the most influential social movement of the seventies, the women's movement, although often expressed in a terminology very different from that in academic quarters. And it was debated heavily in the medical system based on the growing popular interest in self-help and wellness. When it first emerged therefore, self-care was both an academic and a political issue--and it was unavoidable that the two should not only influence each other, but at times clash.
This article was published in Soc Sci Med
and referenced in Journal of Health & Medical Informatics