Indian and Pakistani men's accounts of seeking medical help for cardiac chest pain in the United Kingdom: Constructions of marginalised masculinity or another version of hegemonic masculinity?

Paul M. Galdas, Francine M. Cheater

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    4 Citations (Scopus)


    In this article we present findings from 20 in-depth interviews with Indian and Pakistani men diagnosed with angina or myocardial infarction that explored their experiences of interpreting, and acting upon, their cardiac symptoms. By employing a social constructionist gender analysis, we explore the extent to which social constructions of masculinity intersected with men's help-seeking decision-making process, and how these were played out in relation to dominant Western versions of masculinity that emphasise the need for men to be stoical and self-reliant in the face of illness. Contrary to current empirical evidence, most participants in this study talked of their decision to seek medical help promptly and most distanced themselves from Western masculine stereotypes. The categories we identified contrast with previous hypotheses that ethnic minority men use constructs of Western masculinity to protect and defend a compromised masculine identity. This study highlights the need for health professionals to be aware of the complexity of male gender so as to avoid universalising, essentialist assumptions about the influence of masculinities on men's help-seeking behaviours.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)122-139
    Number of pages18
    JournalQualitative Research in Psychology
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 24 May 2010

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