A Page to Start with: Thinking and Discourse Matters

Discourse is a fancy word for talk. So… how we think and how we talk matters. Thinking  and ideas (as well as ideology and values) in fact tend to underlie our discourse surrounding health and social issues. In other words, our thinking influences how we talk about issues, as well as how we talk about strategies and solutions.

Social Justice and Market Justice – two influential worldviews for consumer health
This is a piece I wrote for another class, a class in which we focused heavily on ideas and discourse as underpinnings of consumer health. Although we’ll shortcut that a bit for this course, I want to have you explore this piece on your own – I think that you’ll have some “a ha” moments around consumer health issues, strategies, and differences based on societal value systems. In particular, get a sense of the basic two paradigms (worldviews) that operate in most population health discussions: social justice and market justice.

As an informed consumer, or especially if you want to help make change beyond your own health and that of those you love, you really do need to have a handle on how society’s make the choices that influence your choices. Part of that comes down to those worldviews. Take a deep breath, explore the reading and your own reactions a bit, and consider the relationship between worldview and decision making. (It’s not necessarily a one-way relationship, either – which gives us hope, right? Consider how new ways of thinking, then talking, and then deciding actually might lead us to, well, new ways of thinking!)