The competing discourses of workplace health

Allender, Steven, Colquhoun, Derek and Kelly, Peter 2006, The competing discourses of workplace health, Health : an interdisciplinary journal for the social study of health, illness and medicine, vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 75-93, doi: 10.1177/1363459306058989.

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Title The competing discourses of workplace health
Author(s) Allender, StevenORCID iD for Allender, Steven
Colquhoun, Derek
Kelly, Peter
Journal name Health : an interdisciplinary journal for the social study of health, illness and medicine
Volume number 10
Issue number 1
Start page 75
End page 93
Publisher Sage
Place of publication Thousand Oaks, Calif.
Publication date 2006-01
ISSN 1363-4593
Keyword(s) critical discourse analysis
occupational health
Summary This article presents an analysis of workplace health programme discourses within an international information technology company. Discourse refers to a system of statements that share a common force and coherence and which are socially constitutive. The representation of entities such as workplace health can be subject to competition between discourses. A critical discourse analysis was undertaken on semi-structured interviews, participant observation and workplace health programme documents. Two competing discourses were identified: health as safety and health as lifestyle. Each discourse is described and shown to both implicitly and explicitly define health within this particular workplace. Lifestyle discourse encouraged moves towards linking of the employees' working and private lives while safety discourse defined health in the relationship between workers and their physical environment. Competition between discourses both constricts and opens spaces for alternative understandings of health in the workplace. The implications of this competition for workplace health policy and practice are discussed.
Language eng
DOI 10.1177/1363459306058989
Field of Research 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2006, SAGE Publications
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Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Public Health Research, Evaluation, and Policy Cluster
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