The academic literature examining the benefits and relevance of community participation and community capacity building in health promotion and disease prevention often neglects the complexities involved in working within this approach. We developed a community-based, exploratory case study of two wellness projects funded by the Provincial Wellness Grants program in rural Newfoundland. Our research aimed to explore how the sense of community would reflect upon pro-active involvement in health as suggested by official documents. The narratives gathered through focus groups and interviews allowed us to learn the unique circumstances of the community groups participating. The oral presentation we are proposing herewith will be led by the principal investigator from Memorial University and the Director of the Community Centre at one of the research sites. We will discuss some of the challenges of working with a community-based approach at a low-income neighborhood. Although Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are often known for their sense of community, we questioned whether this sense of community held the same connotations as the rhetoric around the often reified terms of community and community capacity found in some academic definitions. We consider that communities are dynamic, mobile systems formed through the specific motivations of participants, with the power to avail (or not) of organization resources and human and social capital to engage in higher levels of commitment. Research showed how contextual circumstances, the way that institutional supports and practices are implemented, and the broader socio-cultural environment are all interdependent, influencing the quality of participation in well-being initiatives. Recognizing these influences should help us to reflect on ways to develop more efficient intervention practices.
|Item Type:||Conference or Workshop Item (Lecture)|
|Department(s):||Grenfell Campus > CU Expo 2013|
|Date:||13 June 2013|
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