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The meanings of salutogenesis


Mittelmark, Maurice B; Bauer, Georg F (2017). The meanings of salutogenesis. In: Mittelmark, Maurice B; Sagy, Shifra; Eriksson, Monica; Bauer, Georg F; Pelikan, Jürgen M; Lindström, Bengt; Espnes, Geir Arild. The handbook of salutogenesis. Cham: Springer, 7-13.

Abstract

The term salutogenesis is associated with a variety of meanings that Aaron Antonovsky introduced in his 1979 book Health, Stress and Coping and expounded in many subsequent works. In its most thoroughly explicated meaning, salutogenesis refers to a model described in detail in Health, Stress and Coping, which posits that life experiences help shape one’s sense of coherence (a global orientation); life is understood as more or less comprehensible, meaningful and manageable. A strong sense of coherence helps one mobilise resources to cope with stressors and manage tension successfully. Through this mechanism, the sense of coherence helps determine one’s movement on the health Ease/Dis-ease continuum. In its most particular meaning, salutogenesis is almost equivalent to the sense of coherence. In its more general meaning, salutogenesis refers to a scholarly orientation focusing attention on the study of the origins of health, contra the origins of disease. Salutogenesis—model, sense of coherence and orientation—is in harmony with developments across the social sciences that seek better understanding of positive aspects of human experience. For instance, the key concepts of salutogenesis, of positive psychology and of positive organisational behaviour are consonant even if the terminologies are not uniform. It is therefore quite easy to label research and practice in these arenas as having a salutogenic orientation, and use the salutogenesis umbrella metaphor to embrace the cornucopia of scholarly ideas. Among these is the quite specific idea of the sense of coherence, and this meaning of salutogenesis is dominant, at least in the health promotion literature. This is so much so that some equate salutogenesis with the sense of coherence and refer to the sense of coherence as a model or theory (rather than as part of the salutogenic model). This book is about salutogenesis in all these meanings, which are briefly characterised in this chapter, to set the stage for the chapters that follow. We also briefly discuss salutogenesis in relation to other concepts within and beyond the health arena, with which salutogenesis has important kinship.

Abstract

The term salutogenesis is associated with a variety of meanings that Aaron Antonovsky introduced in his 1979 book Health, Stress and Coping and expounded in many subsequent works. In its most thoroughly explicated meaning, salutogenesis refers to a model described in detail in Health, Stress and Coping, which posits that life experiences help shape one’s sense of coherence (a global orientation); life is understood as more or less comprehensible, meaningful and manageable. A strong sense of coherence helps one mobilise resources to cope with stressors and manage tension successfully. Through this mechanism, the sense of coherence helps determine one’s movement on the health Ease/Dis-ease continuum. In its most particular meaning, salutogenesis is almost equivalent to the sense of coherence. In its more general meaning, salutogenesis refers to a scholarly orientation focusing attention on the study of the origins of health, contra the origins of disease. Salutogenesis—model, sense of coherence and orientation—is in harmony with developments across the social sciences that seek better understanding of positive aspects of human experience. For instance, the key concepts of salutogenesis, of positive psychology and of positive organisational behaviour are consonant even if the terminologies are not uniform. It is therefore quite easy to label research and practice in these arenas as having a salutogenic orientation, and use the salutogenesis umbrella metaphor to embrace the cornucopia of scholarly ideas. Among these is the quite specific idea of the sense of coherence, and this meaning of salutogenesis is dominant, at least in the health promotion literature. This is so much so that some equate salutogenesis with the sense of coherence and refer to the sense of coherence as a model or theory (rather than as part of the salutogenic model). This book is about salutogenesis in all these meanings, which are briefly characterised in this chapter, to set the stage for the chapters that follow. We also briefly discuss salutogenesis in relation to other concepts within and beyond the health arena, with which salutogenesis has important kinship.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Book Section, not refereed, further contribution
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute (EBPI)
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2017
Deposited On:29 Jan 2018 21:27
Last Modified:19 Feb 2018 10:42
Publisher:Springer
ISBN:978-3-319-04599-3
OA Status:Hybrid
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-04600-6_2
Related URLs:http://www.zora.uzh.ch/id/eprint/146155/
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-04600-6 (Publisher)
http://www.recherche-portal.ch/ZAD:default_scope:ebi01_prod010791287 (Library Catalogue)

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