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Deadly Choices empowering Indigenous Australians through social networking sites

journal contribution
posted on 16.05.2018, 00:00 by K McPhail-Bell, N Appo, A Haymes, C Bond, M Brough, Bronwyn FredericksBronwyn Fredericks
The potential for health promotion through social networking sites (SNSs) is widely recognized. However, while health promotion prides itself in focusing on the social determinants of health, its partiality for persuading individuals to comply with health behaviours dominates the way health promotion utilizes SNSs. This paper contributes to an understanding of collaborative ways SNSs can work for health promotion agendas of self-determination and empowerment in an Indigenous Australia context. An ethnographic study was undertaken with Deadly Choices, an Indigenous-led health promotion initiative. The study involved participant observation of interactions on Deadly Choices SNSs between Deadly Choices and its online community members. Deadly Choices provides an example of SNSs providing a powerful tool to create a safe, inclusive and positive space for Indigenous people and communities to profile their healthy choices, according to Indigenous notions of health and identity. The study found five principles that underpin Deadly Choices’ use of SNSs for health promotion. These are: create a dialogue; build community online and offline; incentivise healthy online engagement; celebrate Indigenous identity and culture; and prioritize partnerships. Deadly Choices SNSs empowers Indigenous people and communities to be health promoters themselves, which represents a power shift from health promotion practitioner to Indigenous people and communities and more broadly, an enactment of Indigenous self-determination on SNSs. Mainstream health promotion can learn from Indigenous health promotion practice regarding the use of SNSs for health promotion agendas.

Funding

Category 2 - Other Public Sector Grants Category

History

Volume

33

Issue

5

Start Page

770

End Page

780

Number of Pages

11

eISSN

1460-2245

ISSN

0957-4824

Publisher

Oxford University Press (OUP)

Peer Reviewed

Yes

Open Access

No

Cultural Warning

This research output may contain the names and images of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people now deceased. We apologize for any distress that may occur.

External Author Affiliations

University of Sydney; Institute for Urban Indigenous Health; The University of Queensland; Queensland University of Technology

Era Eligible

Yes

Journal

Health Promotion International