Men, chronic illness and healthwork: accounts from male partners of women with endometriosis

Hudson, Nicky and Law, Caroline and Culley, Lorraine and Mitchell, Helene and Denny, Elaine and Norton, Wendy and Raine‐Fenning, Nick (2020) Men, chronic illness and healthwork: accounts from male partners of women with endometriosis. Sociology of Health & Illness. ISSN 1467-9566

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Currently dominant in medical discourse, the concept of self‐management sees the responsibility for health and illness shift from the state to the individual. However, while this emphasis on individual responsibility and management has burgeoned, the role and status of partners and other family members in the management of chronic illness remains under‐theorised. While self‐management privileges individual responsibility for the management of chronic illness, the role of partners remains unclear. This paper utilises data from a study of heterosexual couples’ experiences of living with the chronic gynaecological condition endometriosis to explore how male partners engage in its day‐to‐day management. In all, 22 couples participated in in‐depth, semi‐structured interviews with each partner interviewed separately (n = 44). Data were analysed thematically and dyadically, informed by an interpretivist relational approach. The paper utilises the concept of healthwork to describe the illness work, everyday life work, biographical work and emotion work men engaged in. The paper demonstrates how the conceptual value of healthwork is enhanced by incorporating an analysis of the emotional effort required in managing chronic illness. The paper illustrates the value of investigating the role of partners in managing chronic illness to provide a fuller account of the distributed and relational nature of healthwork.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: ** Article version: VoR ** From Crossref via Jisc Publications Router ** History: epub 26-06-2020; issued 26-06-2020. ** Licence for VoR version of this article starting on 26-06-2020:
Identification Number:
12 May 2020Accepted
26 June 2020Published Online
Uncontrolled Keywords: Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health, Health Policy, Health (social science)
Subjects: CAH01 - medicine and dentistry > CAH01-01 - medicine and dentistry > CAH01-01-01 - medical sciences (non-specific)
CAH02 - subjects allied to medicine > CAH02-04 - nursing and midwifery > CAH02-04-01 - nursing (non-specific)
CAH15 - social sciences > CAH15-01 - sociology, social policy and anthropology > CAH15-01-02 - sociology
Divisions: Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences > School of Nursing and Midwifery
SWORD Depositor: JISC PubRouter
Depositing User: JISC PubRouter
Date Deposited: 06 Jul 2020 13:12
Last Modified: 03 Mar 2022 15:37

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