Folkesundhed og fortællinger: En analyse af det færøske folkesundhedsprogram og færøske fiskeres fortællinger

Hanna Vágsheyg

Student thesis: Master thesis


Issues related to public health are a main concern for governments all over the world today. As a consequence, most western governments have adopted so-called public health programs to address the growing health problems of the population. This thesis examines the public health program of the Faroe Islands. Inspired by Niklas Luhmann´s general systems theory, this study creates its own framework for analyzing how the concept of health is observed by the Faroese government in the public health program. The analysis points out that health in the program is distinguished by binary codes and is a matter of seeing through a code of science and risk, economy and education. The concept of health lacks a unique definition and in the different codes, health is dependent on how the codes allow the concept to emerge. Reflecting on the results of the analysis, public health in the program primarily is a question of getting the public to adapt to a healthy lifestyle. In the second part of the analysis, the thesis takes into consideration the fact that a public health program is to operate in a context. Therefore the second analysis makes observations of such a context which in this case constitutes of Faroese fishermen. Inspired by narrative theory, the analysis observes the narratives of Faroese fishermen; how is life on board a Faroese fishing ship narrated and how are health related issues a part of these narratives? The analysis concludes that life onboard a Faroese fishing ship is quite different to that on land and that fishermen´s understanding of health and health related issues are a reflection of the fact that they are onboard a fishing ship. In the light of these observations, the final part of the thesis discusses the relationship between the concept of health in the public health program and the observations made in the narrative analysis. The discussion points out, that the concept of health in the public health program and the health concept in the narratives of the fishermen are two different issues and theoretically not compatible. The thesis questions the health programs’ opportunities for success in a context such as the one of the Faroese fishermen. The task for the future, in a theoretical sense, is to couple the two concepts of health in the name of improving public health.

EducationsMSocSc in Political Communication and Managment, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2011
Number of pages136