“An equal share, that’s my medicine”. Experiences of domestic work, health and illness from a gender relational perspective.
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Introduction: Gender inequalities in domestic work have been shown to be related to mental illness among both women and men. The aim of this study was to analyse experiences of domestic work, health and illness among women and men from a gender relational perspective. Methods: A strategic section from the Northern Swedish Cohort of four women and four men living in couple relationships with children was included in the study. The strategic selection included variation socioeconomic class and perception of gender equality in the couple relationship. Interviews were conducted in 2012 when the participants were 47 years old. Data collection and analysis was performed with a Grounded Theory approach. Results: We identified three categories. “Living with the burden of domestic work –an obstacle for women’s health” was built on women’s experiences of having the main responsibility for everyday domestic work as burdensome, stressful and something that caused sleeping and mental illness problems. “Being trapped in an outmoded masculinity – a stressful situation” was built on men’s experiences of domestic work such as fixing things that were broken at home as well as having responsibility for the seasonal outdoor work, something that was connected to feelings of stress. “Negotiating gender equality” included women’s and men’s experiences of striving for gender equality in the couple relationship as a possible way to improved health. Conclusions: Gender relations are an important part of how the domestic work is unequally organized and related to experiences of mental illness. We found that gender constructions in the domestic sphere included various dimensions of gender inequality that were constantly negotiated in order to improve health.
domestic work, gender relations, mental illness, health experiences, gender equality
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Research subject Public health
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-66822OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-66822DiVA: diva2:609393
ProjectsLisa Harryson. "An equal share that's my medicine" Work, gender relations and mental illness in a Swedish context. 2013
FunderFAS, Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research, Dnr 2007-2073