In this article, post-modern theory is described and applied to health politics with examples from community health organizing, social movements, and health promotion. Post-modernism questions conventional assumptions about concepts such as representation, participation, empowerment, community, identity, causality, accountability, responsibility, authority, and roles in community health promotion (those of expert, leader, and organizer). I compare post-modern social movements with their modern counterparts: the organizational forms, leadership styles, and substantive intellectual orientations of the two differ. I explain the social planning, community development, and social action models of community health organizing, comparing them with the priorities of post-modern social movements, and show the similarities and differences between them as to structural preferences, process, and strategies. Finally, and most importantly, I present the implicit lessons that post-modernism offers to health politics and outline the strengths and weaknesses of this approach to health politics.

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