‘Culture is a health asset’: how and why we need to measure the cultural determinants of health and wellbeing for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

Wednesday, 22 March 2017
Dr Ray Lovett
Associate Prof Sheree Cairney
Jasmine Lyons
Unlike the economic and social determinants of health, cultural determinants of health and wellbeing are an emerging concept in research. On an academic level, defining and exploring ‘cultural determinants of health’ present many challenges: it is a complex, multidisciplinary concept that traverses epidemiology, psychology, sociology, anthropology and history. Despite this, the need to incorporate cultural determinants into Indigenous health research is vital and has potential to provide valuable insights into relationships with health outcomes. Our panel session proposal brings together a range of speakers, who will reflect on the practices and experiences that shape and forge culture and identity among Aboriginal individuals’ communities, nations and nationhood and how these impact positively on health. We will also explore how processes of racism, assimilation and colonisation serve to undermine these relationships. Finally, we will speak to possibilities of current research methods exploring cultural determinants and discuss how emerging research methods are being employed to capture the core features of, and nuances within, culture.