Discourses in Interaction: The intersection of literacy and health research internationally

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Julie Green
Joseph Lo Bianco
Johanna Wyn


Literacy and health are deeply influential in social participation, utilisation of social resources and quality of life. This paper discusses interacting discourses and common conceptual points shared by the adult literacy and public health fields and situates how the sub-field at the intersection of these two domains, known as ‘health literacy’, is constructed and enacted. Emerging approaches that recognise the convergence of education and health within international policy, research and in practice are articulated. The paper argues a case for re-thinking the literacy-health connection from a cross-sectoral perspective and for more effective approaches furthering the interests of both life-long learning and wellbeing. 

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Author Biographies

Julie Green, University of Melbourne

Julie Green works at theYouth Research Centre, Faculty of Education, University of Melbourne, Australia and the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Royal Children’s Hospital, Department of Paediatrics, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria. 

Joseph Lo Bianco, University of Melbourne

Joseph Lo Bianco is a Professor of Language and Literacy Education, in the Faculty of Education, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia. 

Johanna Wyn, University of Melbourne

Johanna Wyn is a Professor and Director of the Youth Research Centre, in the Faculty of Education, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia.