The Gendered Construction and Experience of Difficulties and Rewards in Cancer Care

1University of Western Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
Qualitative Health Research (Impact Factor: 2.19). 04/2013; 23(7):900-915. DOI: 10.1177/1049732313484197
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Women cancer carers have consistently been found to report higher levels of distress than men carers. However, there is little understanding of the mechanisms underlying these gender differences in distress, and a neglect of rewarding aspects of care. We conducted in-depth semistructured interviews with 53 informal cancer carers, 34 women and 19 men, to examine difficult and rewarding aspects of cancer care. Thematic analysis was used to analyze the transcripts. Women were more likely to report negative changes in the relationship with the person with cancer; neglect of self, social isolation, and physical health consequences; anxiety; personal strength and growth; and to position caring as a privilege. Men were more likely to report increased relational closeness with the person with cancer, and the burden of additional responsibilities within the home as a difficult aspect of caring. We interpret these findings in relation to a social constructionist analysis of gender roles.

Download full-text


Available from: Jane Ussher, Jan 22, 2014
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Abstract Providing care to a partner with cancer can have a significant impact on a carer's wellbeing and experience of subjectivity. However, there is little research examining how men experience the role of cancer carer, and in particular, how they negotiate constructions of gender in this role. This paper draws on a single case study of a heterosexual man caring for his partner, and conducts a narrative analysis of the construction and performance of masculine subjectivity. It was found that rather than inhabiting a stable masculinity, this carer engaged in a complex negotiation of masculinities, enacting a caring role associated with victimisation, rejection, distress, and powerlessness, as well as strength and heroic resilience. We highlight the importance of the relationship context to the experience of caring, and suggest that research into the gendered experience of cancer care needs to acknowledge the active negotiation of masculinities and caring. We also discuss the utility of case study research in analyses of masculinity and cancer care, and in health psychology more broadly.
    Psychology and Health 07/2014; 29(12):1-31. DOI:10.1080/08870446.2014.948876 · 2.13 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We examined how university leaders described what and who needed to change in order to increase the representation of female faculty in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) departments. Thirty-one (28 men and 3 women) STEM departmental chairs and deans at a large, public university participated in semi-structured interviews. Data were examined using both qualitative and quantitative procedures. Analysis focused on participants’ descriptions of responsibility for changes related to gender equity. Using the distinction of high versus low responsibility, themes were examined for their qualitative characteristics as well as their frequency. Leaders who exhibited high personal responsibility most frequently saw themselves as needing to change and also named their male colleagues as concurrently responsible for diversity. Conversely, leaders who exhibited low personal responsibility most frequently described female faculty as responsible and described women’s attitudes and their ‘‘choice’’ to have a family as obstacles to gender diversity in STEM. We argue that the dimensions of high and low responsibility are useful additions to discussions of leadership, workplace diversity initiatives, and gender equity more broadly. To this end, we provide several methodological tools to examine these subtle, yet essential, aspects of how diversity and change efforts are imagined and discussed.
    Psychology of Women Quarterly 05/2014; DOI:10.1177/0361684314537997 · 2.12 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Much recent academic work on making sense of the changing public profile of the Muslim community in Britain operates within an explanatory framework that assumes a shift from ethnicity to religion and an accompanying shift from racialization to Islamophobia. A key limitation of this work, often grounded in media representations, is that it tends to be disconnected from contemporary lived social relations. In response, this paper critically engages with these debates, drawing upon qualitative research that explores a changing cultural condition that is inhabited by British born, working-class Pakistani and Bangladeshi young men. It is argued that this emergent cultural condition cannot conceptually be contained within a singular category of religion as the contours of the young men's cultural condition are embedded within a range of intensified and ambivalent rapidly shifting local, national and international geo-political processes. Therefore in contrast to recent theorizing and research on Muslim communities and identities, the young men in this study critically engage with the contextually-based local meanings of Muslim, Islamophobia and racialization to secure complex masculine subjectivities. Alongside this, the article highlights that young men recognize that Islamophobia, displacing a notion of racialization, is a danger for their community because of the attendant invisibility of the current impact of social class within conditions of socio-economic austerity, which for them is a central element of their social and cultural exclusions.
    Critical Sociology 12/2014; 41(1):97-114. DOI:10.1177/0896920513518947