Everyone assumes a man to be quite strong: Men, masculinity and rheumatoid arthritis

Flurey, C. A., White, A., Rodham, K., Kirwan, J., Noddings, R. and Hewlett, S. (2017) Everyone assumes a man to be quite strong: Men, masculinity and rheumatoid arthritis. Sociology of Health and Illness, 40 (1). pp. 115-129. ISSN 0141-9889

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Current literature has overlooked the impact of chronic illness on masculine
identity. We therefore aimed to investigate the impact of rheumatoid arthritis (a
long term condition, affecting more women than men) on masculine identity. Six
focus groups with 22 men with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) (data reported elsewhere)
followed by five one-to-one interviews with men (English, mean age: 59 years)
sampled to reflect a heterogeneous experience of life with RA based on knowledge
gained from the focus groups. Transcripts were analysed using thematic analysis
and are presented as individual case studies. Whilst the case studies provide five
distinct experiences, common themes can be drawn across them, such as the
importance of paid work. The men needed to renegotiate their masculine identity
to deal with their RA. Two dealt with this by pushing through pain to retain
masculine activities, two replaced masculine roles they could no longer do with
other roles, and one rejected masculinity completely. Men with long term
conditions may need to re-write their masculinity scripts to enable them to accept
and adapt to their condition. However, some men struggle with this, which should
be taken into consideration when designing self-management services for men with
long term conditions.

Publication Type: Articles
Uncontrolled Keywords: men’s health, masculinity, identity, rheumatology, rheumatoid arthritis, qualitative
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Divisions: Academic Areas > Institute of Education, Social and Life Sciences > Psychology
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Karen Rodham
Date Deposited: 17 Nov 2021 15:18
Last Modified: 17 Nov 2021 15:18
URI: https://eprints.chi.ac.uk/id/eprint/6027

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