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Embedded gender and social changes underpinning inequalities in health: An ethnographic insight into a local Spanish context

  • García-Calvente, Mar
  • Marcos-Marcos, Jorge
  • del Río-Lozano, María
  • Hidalgo-Ruzzante, Natalia
  • Maroto-Navarro, Gracia
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    Despite growing interest in the social determinants of health and contributions from studies focussing on the analysis of explanations to enhance our understanding of the interactions between gender identities, embodied experiences and structural inequalities between men and women, few research papers have devoted attention to this perspective in the Spanish context. This study is an empirical exploration of lay knowledge, for an enhanced understanding of health inequalities in this context, from an ethnographic standpoint based on a phenomenological approach. Specifically, our aim is to study the lay perceptions of men and women regarding their gender identity and living conditions as health determinants within different "contexts" of their everyday lives, namely: the personal context; the home context; and the neighbourhood context. Fifty eight in-depth interviews and three focus groups were held between January 2005 and January 2007, and analysed using a hermeneutic method. Our findings show how disease-coping strategies or the perceived loss of social cohesion are linked to the gender system. They also point to how the dynamics of social change have developed around a strong division between the productive and reproductive arenas. Approaching these issues from different "contexts" provides insights into the explanations for the gendered patterning of mortality and morbidity, as well as furthering our understanding of the basis for social embodiment of gender differences and health inequalities in the context studied. In the discussion of our findings, we place emphasis on the implications that informal caring has for these processes and also take into account contributions of the "lay approach" to study and understand social determinants and health inequalities.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

    Volume (Year): 75 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 12 ()
    Pages: 2225-2232

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:75:y:2012:i:12:p:2225-2232
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