Health and the management of daily life amongst women of Afro-Caribbean origin living in Hackney.
This research explores how race, class arid gerider
act together in constructing black women's experiences of
managing health arid everyday life. The methodology takes
a feminist perspective, rendering the women interviewed
subjects rather than objects. This is central for
acknowledging and countering our different experiences of
race arid class.
One finding was that for women, health is
inseparable from everyday life. Maintaining health is
integral to the emotional arid material reproductiors of the
family. In this management of everyday life the women
Interact with a range of 'resources' which are themselves
historically structured. This led to a consideration of
the theoreti cal nature of resources.
Following Giddens, 'resource' is used to provide a
conceptual bridge between individual arid social structure.
Resources are differentially distributed along the lines
of race, class arid gender arid are the media through which
power is exercised arid structures of domination
reproduced. Resources may, however, be both enabling arid
This use of resources avoids a deterministic view
of r-ace, class and gender, allows a dynamic
coriceptualisatior, of culture, arid refutes the labelling of
the black family as 'pathological'. Rather, black family
or-garsisatiori enables the coristructiori of black women's
ideology of emotional and material independence.
Then detailed are the women's childhood and
migration experiences. Also consider-ed as resources for
managing everyday life are sever-al areas of health care.
These are Caribbean systems, home remedies, OPs arid
hospitals. The analysis of these experiences provides a
framework for- exploring their- relation to private
medicine. Finally, a brief overview is giver, of the wider
areas of everyday life which the women felt integral to
their- accounts of managing health.
The research concludes by suggesting that these
women's experiences illustrates both the way in which
resources are differentially structured by race, class and
gender and how this constructs their experience of
managing health and daily life.