Health

Conventionally, within the dominant perspective of bio-medicine, health has tended to be thought of as the absence of disease. The World Health Organization (WHO), recognizing the shortcomings of this biomedical model of health, sees health as the possession of complete physical, mental, and social well-being (WHO, 1978). What are the barriers to achieving well-being of this sort? From the critical perspective, in the contemporary world, such barriers include social inequality, class, gender, racial, and other discrimination, poverty, structural violence, social trauma, relative depravation, being forced to live or work in a toxic physical environment, and related factors. Consequently, within CMA health is defined as access to and control over the basic material and nonmaterial resources that sustain and promote life at a high level of satisfaction. Health is not some absolute state of being but an elastic concept that must be evaluated in a larger socio-cultural context.

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