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Theorizing growing and being older: connecting physical health, well-being and public health

Fairhurst, Eileen (2005) Theorizing growing and being older: connecting physical health, well-being and public health. Critical public health, 15 (1). pp. 27-38. ISSN 1469-3682

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Abstract

This paper locates the new public health movement's concerns with the social model of health, 'expert' and 'lay' knowledge and public participation in policy-making in the context of social ageing. Data from a focus-group study, undertaken in Greater Manchester in collaboration with a voluntary organization, are used to demonstrate how individuals connect physical health, well-being and public health in their own theories of growing and being older. The study had the explicit purpose of contributing to policy-making by calling upon 'ordinary', as opposed to 'expert', thinking about becoming and being older. The paper has three major themes. First, an examination of the relationship between methods employed in the study and 'end users' of the research. Second, outlining the ways in which individuals link 'good' health, well-being and public health to their own theories of ageing. Finally, the paper concludes with a consideration of the study's implication for the debate surrounding social capital, public participation and public health.

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