Engaging with the discourse on lifestyle modifications: Evidence from India

Arima Mishra


Lifestyle modifications through a range of health care practices are considered central to the management, control and prevention of chronic non-communicable diseases. While there is a critical perspective on the epistemologies of such global health discourses in existing literature, empirical evidence on how people engage with such prescriptive lifestyle modifications in different cultural contexts is very limited. The paper in this context draws on illness narratives of heart patients to discuss about the anxiety and uncertainty expressed by patients and others about notions of what constitutes ‘healthy’ and ‘risky’. It specifically unpacks the global-local dynamics in the construction of risk and healthy lifestyle and examines the contexts in which such global discourses are embodied, resisted or negotiated in different cultural contexts. The paper also examines how global health discourses travel to local sites through popular press. The paper draws on evidence collected through analyzing two Indian national English dailies and in-depth interviews with heart patients and their family members in Delhi, India in 2007-2008.



risk, lifestyle, discourse, heart patients, India

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/hcs.2011.28


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