Culture in salutogenesis: the scholarship of Aaron Antonovsky
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Aaron Antonovsky wrote extensively, although disjointedly, about the roles of culture in salutogenesis. This paper provides a synopsis of his work in this arena. A literature review identified those of his English language writings in which culture was a subject, and relevant text segments were analysed using an inductive followed by a deductive method. Using thematic network analysis, text segments were sorted inductively by open coding and then analysed. This was followed by deductive text segment coding guided by the constructs of the salutogenic model of health. The analysis revealed that Antonovsky had an expansive interest in the roles of culture in salutogenesis. His writings included attention to the role of culture in: (a) shaping life situations; (b) giving rise to stressors and resources; (c) contributing to life experiences of predictability, load balance and meaningful roles; (d) facilitating the development of the sense of coherence and (e) shaping perceptions of health and well-being. Antonovsky’s writings about culture were sometimes conjectural, as well as being obviously influenced by his life experience in the USA and then in Israel, and by the spirit of the times in which he lived. However, he also drew extensively on his own and others’ empiricism, leading him to view culture as an integral aspect of the salutogenic model of health. The present analysis provides salutogenesis scholars with a roadmap of Antonovsky’s reflections, ponderings and conclusions about culture in the context of salutogenesis. It provides assistance in the form of an overview of Antonovsky’s treatment of culture in the context of salutogenesis.