By Saras Henderson, Alan Petersen

In our post-welfare society, healthiness is more and more seen as a commodity and everyone is outlined as 'health care consumers'. even as, the proposal that the nation may still take care of the healthiness of its electorate is being changed by means of an expectation that electorate may still play a extra energetic function in taking good care of themselves. those advancements are in no way uncontentious. eating overall healthiness explores the varied meanings and functions of the time period 'consumer' within the box of future health care and the results for policy-making, health and wellbeing care supply and reviews of future health care. individuals are recognized leading edge researchers and teachers from the Australia, the united kingdom and Canada. among them they disguise a variety of themes - from the medicalisation of the menopause to the participation of client teams within the nationwide coverage approach - to create an unique and thought-provoking textual content for college kids and practitioners within the box of health and wellbeing care.

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Bauman, Z. (2000) Liquid Modernity, Cambridge, UK: Polity Press. Beeson, D. and Doksum, T. (2001) ‘Family values and resistance to genetic testing’, in B. ) Bioethics in Social Context, Philadephia: Temple University Press. Bishop, K. ’, The Art of Cosmetic Beauty, 1, 84–8. —— (2000b) ‘Blue peel’, The Art of Cosmetic Beauty, 1, 68–70. Bishop, K. and Stapleton, A. (2000) ‘Not all in vain’, The Art of Cosmetic Beauty, 1, 98–100. Bordo, S. (1998) ‘Braveheart, babe, and the contemporary body’, in E.

Put another way, at the level of everyday practice, the language of the health consumer is a vehicle which transports unpopular managerial reforms into health care institutions. It is also a useful instrument which legitimates the penetration of the state into the professional domain; through an appeal to higher principles of ‘consumer interest’, managerial incursions into the professional realm are imbued with moral significance. To use Beck’s (1986: 186) words (but in a different context), in tense struggles over hierarchy, agents of the state, like ‘devilish’ private sector business concerns, found it useful to ‘sprinkle’ the new system of governance ‘with the holy water of public morality and put on a halo of concern for society’.

This chapter explores ways in which the idea of the health consumer is used to subvert and modify relationships of power and authority in health care politics. The chapter is structured as follows. In an effort to see what the concept signifies, the next section maps the mobilization of ‘the health consumer’ within the discourses of resistance of social activists who contest the assumptions, meanings, values and practices of dominant professions and political agents. In order to analyse some of its reverberations, the following section probes the production of the health consumer concept within government policy documents.

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