Chapter 9 Decolonizing Medical Discourse through Promotora Practices in Community Health

Amy C. Hickman

What is the most important takeaway from your chapter.

RHM can inform and transform public health nutrition interventions for communities experiencing social, economic, and political precarity. Through analysis of one promotora’s nutrition teaching practices, the colonizing features of popular nutrition campaigns can be critiqued and unsettled through her use of relational praxis, mujerista pedagogies, and recentering Latinx ways of knowing. 

If you were making discussion questions for students (advanced undergraduates or early graduate students) to go along with your chapter, what would they be? 

  • In your everyday experience, what constitutes health citizenship? 
  • How is health citizenship a discourse of power? If so, for whom and in what contexts?
  • How does Margarita negotiate power in her context as a promotora working in a community health clinic? What does power look like here? What are some of the outcomes of using this power? 
  • What are some of the rhetorical strategies Margarita uses to unsettle biomedical discourse? 
  • How is Margarita constrained in her rhetorical practice of unsettling medical discourse? 
  • What are some of the colonizing features of the discourses used in other professionalized contexts such as hospital or University? 

What questions do you feel your chapter leaves un-examined or where would you go with it next?

  • Why is decolonizing public health necessary in this context? What might this look like for other communities and contexts? 
  • In PAR, the research process is directed and controlled by community members rather than the researcher.  What are some of the imperatives and implications for doing this kind of research and how might this affect research outcomes? 

Is there anything that you want those new to the field to know about RHM?

RHM, as a decolonial framework, can useful to understand issues of power in public health nutrition education interventions.  RHM thus holds potential to be transformative in public health contexts and everyday understandings of health, body, and disease.