The University of Arizona

Tracing narratives and perceptions in the political ecologies of health and disease

Creighton Connolly, Panagiota Kotsila, Giacomo D'Alisa


Abstract Political ecology has, in the past decade, emerged as an increasingly accepted framework for studying issues of health and disease and has thus given rise to a distinct sub-field: the political ecologies of health and disease (PEHD). More recently, scholars have suggested more specific avenues through which the sub-field can be further developed and focused. Building on recent work, we suggest that the role of health perceptions and health discourses is one area that could benefit from examination through the lens of political ecology. The papers in this special section thus intend to further contribute to the empirical richness of this area of study, through an emphasis on anthropological and cultural aspects of health injustices. We emphasize the role of health perceptions, in particular, as a way of exploring how people's experiences of the local environment often differ from dominant discourses related to un/healthy environments, and the effects stemming from this disjuncture. Keywords: Political ecology of health, disease, perceptions, discourse, ethnography, environmental justice

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