Differences in the Perception of Health among the Urban Poor Living in Two Squatter House Neighbourhoods in Ankara

This study aims to understand the differences in conceptualizations of health and illness among the urban poor. Although the interconnections between poverty and health have been revealed many times, sometimes lumping the poor together into one homogeneous mass. But how poor individuals perceive health and illness has not received much attention sociologically, especially in the Turkish context. This study examined the urban poor’s perceptions relating to health through in-depth interviews with 40 participants in two squatter housing neighbourhoods in Altındağ, a district in Ankara. In the study, a qualitative research method was used on the basis of primary and qualitative data. To understand the respondents’ health-related perspective, their subjective health and wellbeing; their views about the causation of their illness; how they define/explain health, being healthy, the prerequisites of health and being healthy, and the causes of disease were analysed according to gender, age, poverty experiences and the state of being healthy/ill. The findings show that poverty experiences, age, gender and being permanently sick are influential on perceptions of health and illness. Four constructs were found in the sample: health as the absence of illness, health as tool or capital, health as product or consequence and health as peace and wellbeing.
Mediterranean Journal of Humanities / Akdeniz İnsani Bilimler Dergisi


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Citation Formats
Y. Özen and H. İ. Rittersberger, “Differences in the Perception of Health among the Urban Poor Living in Two Squatter House Neighbourhoods in Ankara,” Mediterranean Journal of Humanities / Akdeniz İnsani Bilimler Dergisi, pp. 309–333, 2018, Accessed: 00, 2021. [Online]. Available: http://proje.akdeniz.edu.tr/mcri/mjh/8-1/MJH-21-Yelda_Ozen-Helga_Rittersberger-Tilic.pdf.