chapter  11
24 Pages

Health Promotion in the Context of Employment and Unemployment

Probably the most significant personal identifier of someone living in the industrialised world is what he/she does to earn a living. The link between the person, their social significance and sense of self-esteem and the particular paid work they do is doubtless less conspicuous in societies in the developing world. Reasons for this include the fact that, in less industrialised societies, paid employment is less differentiated and much of it labour-intensive agricultural work. But it is when the nexus between ‘the person’ and ‘the job’ is broken by unemployment that we notice how closely linked psychological health (self-esteem and self-actualisation) is to employment and how intimately this affects not just general health, but specific measurable clinical indices. Therefore, from its recent re-emergence in the 1970s and 1980s, health promotion and concern with it, has been perceived very much as an adjunct of the workplace in the developed world.