Rivkin-Fish, Michele R. (2000). Health Development Meets the End of State Socialism: Visions of Democratization, Women's Health, and Social Well-Being for Contemporary Russia. Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry, 24(1)
As development organizations undertake thetask of improving the public health in formersocialist states, their interventions are shaped by aparticular cultural logic and predetermined frame ofpossible action. In the context of local encounters,however, they often confront competing interpretationsof a society''s prevailing needs. How they managesuch differences may not only explain the outcomes ofa given project, but may also reveal the capacitiesand limitations of development agencies to engineerpost-socialist change. This article examines a recentWHO project in St. Petersburg, Russia, which definedwomen''s ``social well-being'''' as a local health concern.While the project employed a discourse of ``democracy''''to promote women''s empowerment in the clinic, itsparameters of intervention neither incorporated localknowledge nor addressed the structural relationsunderlying clinic-level conflicts. Two kinds ofresults ensued: the ideology of democracy wasrejected, while WHO''s recommendations were partiallyappropriated as profit-making strategies.
Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry
Rivkin-Fish, Michele R.