Reflexivity Denied? The Emotional and Health-Seeking Resources of Men Facing Disadvantage.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Based on focus group discussions of self-generated photographs of individuals aged 19-67 resident in urban Northwest England, this article examines the health narratives of men facing disadvantage because of economic hardship and/or mental health difficulty (mhd). In contrast to stereotypes of men as uncomfortable with emotions linked to vulnerability, we explore how such men can develop within self-help groups the kind of emotional resources that encourage health-seeking behaviours. Our argument contrasts with theories that risk denying/diminishing working-class men’s emotional reflexivity or that frame reflexivity (thought on feelings and behaviour to effect life changes) as individualized and more available to middle-class (younger) men. We argue that participant accounts indicate development of more collective emotional and epistemic resources from a position of subordinated masculinity. This argument challenges stereotypes of working-class men as lacking in knowledge/skill in health and self-care. Collective reflexivity over health/well-being was particularly visible in three main accounts that emerged during focus groups: involvement in self-help ‘communities of practice’; use of local aesthetic spaces; and negotiation with/qualified challenge to healthy eating discourse.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSociology of Health and Illness
Early online date20 Feb 2019
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 Feb 2019

Fingerprint

Health Resources
reflexivity
health
resources
Focus Groups
Emotions
working class
stereotype
Men's Health
Masculinity
Self-Help Groups
Negotiating
self-help group
Self Care
Esthetics
England
self-help
Mental Health
eating behavior
group discussion

Keywords

  • Disadvantaged men
  • Emotions
  • health
  • Mental Health
  • Reflexivity

Cite this

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title = "Reflexivity Denied? The Emotional and Health-Seeking Resources of Men Facing Disadvantage.",
abstract = "Based on focus group discussions of self-generated photographs of individuals aged 19-67 resident in urban Northwest England, this article examines the health narratives of men facing disadvantage because of economic hardship and/or mental health difficulty (mhd). In contrast to stereotypes of men as uncomfortable with emotions linked to vulnerability, we explore how such men can develop within self-help groups the kind of emotional resources that encourage health-seeking behaviours. Our argument contrasts with theories that risk denying/diminishing working-class men’s emotional reflexivity or that frame reflexivity (thought on feelings and behaviour to effect life changes) as individualized and more available to middle-class (younger) men. We argue that participant accounts indicate development of more collective emotional and epistemic resources from a position of subordinated masculinity. This argument challenges stereotypes of working-class men as lacking in knowledge/skill in health and self-care. Collective reflexivity over health/well-being was particularly visible in three main accounts that emerged during focus groups: involvement in self-help ‘communities of practice’; use of local aesthetic spaces; and negotiation with/qualified challenge to healthy eating discourse.",
keywords = "Disadvantaged men, Emotions, health, Mental Health, Reflexivity",
author = "Paul Simpson and Michael Richards",
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AU - Richards, Michael

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N2 - Based on focus group discussions of self-generated photographs of individuals aged 19-67 resident in urban Northwest England, this article examines the health narratives of men facing disadvantage because of economic hardship and/or mental health difficulty (mhd). In contrast to stereotypes of men as uncomfortable with emotions linked to vulnerability, we explore how such men can develop within self-help groups the kind of emotional resources that encourage health-seeking behaviours. Our argument contrasts with theories that risk denying/diminishing working-class men’s emotional reflexivity or that frame reflexivity (thought on feelings and behaviour to effect life changes) as individualized and more available to middle-class (younger) men. We argue that participant accounts indicate development of more collective emotional and epistemic resources from a position of subordinated masculinity. This argument challenges stereotypes of working-class men as lacking in knowledge/skill in health and self-care. Collective reflexivity over health/well-being was particularly visible in three main accounts that emerged during focus groups: involvement in self-help ‘communities of practice’; use of local aesthetic spaces; and negotiation with/qualified challenge to healthy eating discourse.

AB - Based on focus group discussions of self-generated photographs of individuals aged 19-67 resident in urban Northwest England, this article examines the health narratives of men facing disadvantage because of economic hardship and/or mental health difficulty (mhd). In contrast to stereotypes of men as uncomfortable with emotions linked to vulnerability, we explore how such men can develop within self-help groups the kind of emotional resources that encourage health-seeking behaviours. Our argument contrasts with theories that risk denying/diminishing working-class men’s emotional reflexivity or that frame reflexivity (thought on feelings and behaviour to effect life changes) as individualized and more available to middle-class (younger) men. We argue that participant accounts indicate development of more collective emotional and epistemic resources from a position of subordinated masculinity. This argument challenges stereotypes of working-class men as lacking in knowledge/skill in health and self-care. Collective reflexivity over health/well-being was particularly visible in three main accounts that emerged during focus groups: involvement in self-help ‘communities of practice’; use of local aesthetic spaces; and negotiation with/qualified challenge to healthy eating discourse.

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