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Mental Health

The Fallen Hero: Masculinity, Shame and Farmer Suicide in Australia

Citation:

Bryant, Lia, and Bridget Garnham. 2015. “The Fallen Hero: Masculinity, Shame and Farmer Suicide in Australia.” Gender, Place & Culture 22 (1): 67–82.

Authors: Lia Bryant, Bridget Garnham

Abstract:

The drought-stricken Australian rural landscape, cultures of farming masculinity and an economy of value, moral worth and pride form a complex matrix of discourses that shape subjective dynamics that render suicide a possibility for distressed farmers. However, the centrality of a ‘mental health’ perspective and reified notions of ‘stoicism’ within this discursive field operate to exclude consideration of the ways in which cultural identity is linked to emotions. To illuminate and explore complex connections between subjectivity, moral worth and affect in relation to understanding farmer suicide, this article draws on theory and literature on agrarian discourses of masculine subjectivity and shame to analyze empirical data from interviews with farmers during times of environmental, social and economic crisis. The idealized notion of the farming man as ‘Aussie battler’ emerges from romantic agrarian mythology in which pride and self-worth are vested in traditional values of hard work, struggle and self-sacrifice. However, the structural context of agriculture, as it is shaped by the political economy of neoliberalism, threatens farm economic viability and is eroding the pride, self-worth and masculine identity of farmers. The article suggests that the notion of the ‘fallen hero’ captures a discursive shift of a masculinity ‘undone’, a regress from the powerful position of masculine subjectivity imbued with pride to one of shame that is of central importance to understanding how suicide emerges as a possibility for farmers.

Keywords: masculinity, rurality, suicide, farmer, shame

Topics: Agriculture, Economies, Environment, Climate Change, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Health, Mental Health, Political Economies Regions: Oceania Countries: Australia

Year: 2015

The Effects of Water Insecurity and Emotional Distress on Civic Action for Improved Water Infrastructure in Rural South Africa

Citation:

Bulled, Nicola. 2016. “The Effects of Water Insecurity and Emotional Distress on Civic Action for Improved Water Infrastructure in Rural South Africa.” Medical Anthropology Quarterly 31 (1): 133–54.

Author: Nicola Bulled

Abstract:

The South African constitution ratifies water as a human right. Yet millions of citizens remain disconnected from the national water infrastructure. Drawing on data collected in 2013-2014 from women in northern South Africa, this study explores "water citizenship"-individual civic engagement related to improving water service provision. Literature indicates that water insecurity is associated with emotional distress and that water-related emotional distress influences citizen engagement. I extend these lines of research by assessing the connection that water insecurity and emotional distress may collectively have with civic engagement to improve access to water infrastructure.

Keywords: South Africa, citizenship, emotional distress, rural poor, water insecurity

Topics: Citizenship, Development, Gender, Women, Health, Mental Health, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Livelihoods, Political Participation Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2016

Environmental Social Work: Accounting for Gender in Climate Disasters

Citation:

Alston, Margaret. 2013. “Environmental Social Work: Accounting for Gender in Climate Disasters.” Australian Social Work 66 (2): 218–33.

Author: Margaret Alston

Abstract:

The person-in-the-environment concept has largely been interpreted by social workers to indicate social networks and relationships, ignoring the physical environment and its complex impact on human health and wellbeing. This article examines the environmental domain, noting the critical role social workers can have in this field as a consequence of climate events and global warming. The article notes the significance of gender as a key factor in vulnerability to disasters and outlines the need for social workers to consider gender as a critical indicator in their work in this emerging area. Embodiment, connection to place, poverty, and cultural awareness are also significant, but often overlooked, factors in a social work response to environmental disasters. Ecological and ecofeminist theories give a direction for social work theory and practice in the postdisaster space. The article challenges social workers to reconsider the person-in- the-environment as a complex and critical emerging domain of social work theories and practice, a domain where gender awareness is fundamental.

Keywords: environmental social work, accounting for gender in climate disasters

Topics: Economies, Poverty, Environment, Climate Change, Environmental Disasters, Feminisms, Gender, Health, Mental Health

Year: 2013

Human Security and Disasters: What a Gender Lens Offers

Citation:

Enarson, Elaine. 2014. “Human Security and Disasters: What a Gender Lens Offers.” In Human Security and Natural Disasters, edited by Christopher Hobson, Paul Bacon, and Robin Cameron. London: Routledge.

Author: Elaine Enarson

Abstract:

This chapter explains the need for gender analysis in the ostensibly gender-neutral domains of human security, disaster risk reduction, and climate change adaptation, emphasizing that gender is more than a cross-cutting concern and introducing the main outlines of the subfield of gender and disaster. Human security discourse is surprisingly silent on some of the most critical human rights challenges of disasters while highlighting specific threats. Gender is a fundamental social organizing principle in all societies with implications throughout the disaster cycle and across all dimensions of human security. Nontraditional skills training for women postdisaster and such reforms as jointly titling post-disaster housing in both partners' names are further examples of how post-disaster recovery work can enhance human security by advancing gender equality. Gender-sensitive thinking about human security potentially strengthens civil society as it suggests the need for increased capacity in women's organizations, self-help groups, and networks, and highlights gender-focused work to enhance security in both the private and public sectors. (Taylor & Francis)

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender Analysis, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Hierarchies, Health, Mental Health, Livelihoods, Security, Human Security

Year: 2014

Female Adolescents and their Sexuality: Notions of Honour, Shame, Purity and Pollution during the Floods

Citation:

Rashid, Sabina Faiz, and Stephanie Michaud. 2000. “Female Adolescents and their Sexuality: Notions of Honour, Shame, Purity and Pollution during the Floods.” Disasters 24 (1): 54–70.

Authors: Sabina Faiz Rashid, Stephanie Michaud

Abstract:

This paper explores the experiences of female adolescents during the 1998 floods in Bangladesh, focusing on the implications of socio‐cultural norms related to notions of honour, shame, purity and pollution. These cultural notions are reinforced with greater emphasis as girls enter their adolescence, regulating their sexuality and gender relationships. In Bangladeshi society, adolescent girls are expected to maintain their virginity until marriage. Contact is limited to one's families and extended relations. Particularly among poorer families, adolescent girls tend to have limited mobility to safeguard their ‘purity’. This is to ensure that the girl's reputation does not suffer, thus making it difficult for the girl to get married. For female adolescents in Bangladesh, a disaster situation is a uniquely vulnerable time. Exposure to the unfamiliar environment of flood shelters and relief camps, and unable to maintain their ‘space’ and privacy from male strangers, a number of the girls were vulnerable to sexual and mental harassment. With the floods, it became difficult for most of the girls to be appropriately `secluded'. Many were unable to sleep, bathe or get access to latrines in privacy because so many houses and latrines were underwater. Some of the girls who had begun menstruation were distressed at not being able to keep themselves clean. Strong social taboos associated with menstruation and the dirty water that surrounded them made it difficult for the girls to wash their menstrual cloths or change them frequently enough. Many of them became separated from their social network of relations, which caused them a great deal of anxiety and stress. Their difficulty in trying to follow social norms have had far‐reaching implications on their health, identity, family and community relations.

Keywords: Bangladesh, 1998 floods, adolescence, sexuality, gender, women

Topics: Economies, Poverty, Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Girls, Health, Mental Health, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Sexuality Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh

Year: 2000

Gender, Place and Mental Health Recovery in Disasters: Addressing Issues of Equality and Difference

Citation:

Akerkar, Supriya, and Maureen Fordham. 2017. “Gender, Place and Mental Health Recovery in Disasters: Addressing Issues of Equality and Difference.” International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction 23 (1): 218–30.

Authors: Supriya Akerkar, Maureen Fordham

Abstract:

UK and wider EU governments follow gender neutral policies in their disaster planning and management based upon a misconception that the gender gap has been eliminated. Findings from our quantitative and qualitative research, carried out as a part of an EU Project, ‘MICRODIS’, in two flood affected locations in England (Tewkesbury floods of 2007, and Morpeth floods of 2008), challenges this notion, revealing that disasters can have paradoxically equal and yet differentiated gendered impacts. Our findings highlight some of the more subtle ways that disasters differentially impacted women and men. It shows that although the degree of mental health recovery of affected men and women was mostly equal, they mobilised different recovery strategies, mostly consistent with their traditional gendered norms and socially constructed roles. Women's recovery strategies were mainly aligned with emotional notions of care, while men's were with notions of control. These findings also show that gendered identities, home-neighbourhood place attachment, and mental wellbeing are related in complex ways. Temporary displacement from their home-neighbourhood places after floods were traumatic for both men and women, although there were perceptible differences in this experience. The paper concludes that gender difference in disasters is ubiquitous globally, and thus analyses must include a gender and diversity analysis and ask more probing gender questions, even in apparently gender equal societies, in order to uncover sometimes hidden impacts.

Keywords: flood, gender, place, mental health, UK, Disasters

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Health, Mental Health Regions: Europe, Northern Europe Countries: United Kingdom

Year: 2017

Depressive Symptoms among Arab Bedouin Women Under Threat of House Demolition in Southern Israel

Citation:

Daoud, Nihaya, and Yousef Jabareen. 2014. “Depressive Symptoms among Arab Bedouin Women Whose Houses are Under Threat of Demolition in Southern Israel: A Right to Housing Issues.” Health and Human Rights 16 (1): 179–91.

Authors: Nihaya Daoud , Yousef Jabareen

Abstract:

Housing is a fundamental human right and a social determinant of health. According to international law, indigenous peoples are entitled to special housing and health rights and protections. In Israel, land disputes between the government and Arab Bedouins, an indigenous minority, have resulted in ongoing demolitions of Arab Bedouin homes, with thousands more homes threatened. While demolitions could expose this population to mental health problems, research linking house demolition and health is scarce. In this paper, we draw on a human rights perspective to describe this housing instability and examine the association between the threat of house demolition and depressive symptoms (DS) among 464 Arab Bedouin women. We conclude that having their house under threat of demolition is an important determinant of poor mental health among Bedouin women. Any efforts to decrease DS among these women will have to take place alongside efforts to stop this practice.

Topics: Gender, Women, Health, Mental Health, Rights, Human Rights, Land Rights Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Israel

Year: 2014

Women’s Well-Being and Reproductive Health in Indian Mining Community: Need for Empowerment

Citation:

D’Souza, Melba Sheila, Subrahmanya Nairy Karkada, Ganesha Somayaji, and Ramesh Venkatesaperumal. 2013. “Women’s Well-Being and Reproductive Health in Indian Mining Community: Need for Empowerment.” Reproductive Health Matters 10 (1): 24.

Authors: Melba Sheila D’Souza, Subrahmanya Nairy Karkada, Ganesha Somayaji, Ramesh Venkatesaperumal

Abstract:

This paper is a qualitative study of women’s well-being and reproductive health status among married women in mining communities in India. An exploratory qualitative research design was conducted using purposive sampling among 40 selected married women in a rural Indian mining community. Ethical permission was obtained from Goa University. A semi-structured indepth interview guide was used to gather women’s experiences and perceptions regarding well-being and reproductive health in 2010. These interviews were audiotaped, transcribed, verified, coded and then analyzed using qualitative content analysis. Early marriage, increased fertility, less birth intervals, son preference and lack of decision-making regarding reproductive health choices were found to affect women’s reproductive health. Domestic violence, gender preference, husbands drinking behaviors, and low spousal communication were common experiences considered by women as factors leading to poor quality of marital relationship. Four main themes in confronting women’s well-being are poor literacy and mobility, low employment and income generating opportunities, poor reproductive health choices and preferences and poor quality of martial relationships and communication. These determinants of physical, psychological and cultural well-being should be an essential part of nursing assessment in the primary care settings for informed actions. Nursing interventions should be directed towards participatory approach, informed decision making and empowering women towards better health and well-being in the mining community.

Keywords: well-being, reproductive health status, gender preference, domestic violence, marital relationship, qualitative design, nursing

Topics: Domestic Violence, Extractive Industries, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Health, Mental Health, Reproductive Health, Households Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2013

Visual Responses: Women’s Experience of Sexual Violence as Represented in Israeli Holocaust-Related Cinema

Citation:

Meiri, Sandra. 2015. “Visual Responses: Women’s Experience of Sexual Violence as Represented in Israeli Holocaust-Related Cinema.” European Journal of Women’s Studies 22 (4): 443-456.  

Author: Sandra Meiri

Abstract:

This article explores the function of Israeli narrative films’ persistent, albeit marginal, portrayal of women as victims of sexual violence during the Holocaust. While the marginalization of such characters may be attributed to the difficulty of representing sexually-related trauma/post-trauma, their portrayal attests both to the ubiquity of sexually-related crimes in the Holocaust and to its aftermath: namely, the persistence of women’s trauma. The first of the two waves of ‘retro films’ examined here evinces the importance of the visual, cinematic representation of women’s trauma. Its main function is to legitimize its disclosure through cinematic aesthetic/artistic mediation, for sexual violence was a crime committed against helpless victims. The second wave includes films made from the point of view of ‘the second generation’, and explores the topic further by dealing with the transmission of post-traumatic symptoms of women’s trauma to the second generation.

Keywords: cinematic visualization, insanity, sexualized violence, the second generation, transmission of women's trauma, unfit motherhood

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Discourses, Gender-Based Violence, Genocide, Health, Mental Health, PTSD, Trauma, Sexual Violence, SV against women Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East, Europe Countries: Israel

Year: 2015

Coming out in camouflage: A Queer Theory Perspective on the Strength, Resilience, and Resistance of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Service Members and Veterans

Citation:

Ramirez, M. Heliana, and Paul R. Sterzing. 2017. “Coming out in Camouflage: A Queer Theory Perspective on the Strength, Resilience, and Resistance of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Service Members and Veterans.” Journal of Gay & Lesbian Social Services 29 (1): 68–86. 

Authors: M. Heliana Ramirez, Paul R. Sterzing

Abstract:

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) service members have made profound contributions to the U. S. military despite serving under anti-LGBT military policies. Little is known about their everyday acts of strength and resistance, which is vital information for developing strengths-based services. This article utilizes a queer theory framework to (a) discuss LGBT military contributions and anti-LGBT military policies, (b) explore three LGBT-specific military minority stressors, and (c) identify four strategies of strength and resistance used to manage an antiLGBT military environment. Clinical suggestions are proposed for integrating military and LGBT identities and designing interventions that blend military and LGBT cultures.

Keywords: LGBT, military, Veteran, strengths-based, Resilience, queer theory

Topics: Combatants, Gender, Health, HIV/AIDS, Mental Health, PTSD, Trauma, LGBTQ, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Sexual Violence, Rape Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2017

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