Health geographies of art, music and sound

The remaking of self in place

Authored by: Candice P. Boyd , Michelle Duffy

Routledge Handbook of Health Geography

Print publication date:  June  2018
Online publication date:  June  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138098046
eBook ISBN: 9781315104584
Adobe ISBN:


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The need to consider and incorporate a place-sensitive post-medical perspective in health-geography research is a significant starting point for this chapter (Kearns, 1993), especially when considering the role of art and music in a geographical framing of health. As Kearns once urged, “little attention has been paid to the understanding of place as that experienced zone of meaning and familiarity” (Kearns, 1993, p. 140; emphasis in original). This idea is important, because what is expressed is a changed view as to how we might think about health. Rather than considering health as the study of disease, Kearns pointed to a shift toward health in terms of a socioecological framework, which leads to an examination of the sets of relations within a population and its social, cultural and physical environment (refer also to Andrews et al., 2012). As Kearns argued, “what occurs in a place (in terms of the relations between people and elements of their environment) has profound importance to health” (1993, p. 141). While Kearns’ article generated much debate (e.g., Paul, 1994), his suggestion that health geography can be enriched through closer engagement with social and cultural geography opens up theoretical and methodological avenues of inquiry that can be readily taken up by therapeutic art practices.

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