Health concepts and illness behaviour : the case of some Pathan mothers in Britain
This work started from initial questions in the field of transcultural psychiatry concerning the effects of culture and of seclusion on Asian immigrant women's experiences and on their concepts of mental well - and ill-being and their behaviour in face of this. In presenting data concerning the women's views and interactions with health workers, a tripartite framework is used as a way of understanding the logic of behaviours from the actor's perspective. Theoretical conclusions relate to this framework and to the nature of Concepts, in which the influence of structural and cultural factors are drawn out. Context and process are shown to be important in respect of Concepts, health care interactions and social research. The research was a small-scale study involving semistructured discussions with forty-six women, often in a group setting, seventeen of whom were interviewed in depth, and the use (in translation), of two Psychiatric Rating Scales. The women involved were Pathans, currently living in Bradford. This thesis is divided into four Parts, in addition to an overall introduction and conclusion. In each Part, issues concerning social influences on individual experience and behaviour are addressed through the presentation of data from the interviews. These issues concern research methodology (Part 1), social situation and interaction (Part II), the women's role as mothers (Part III) and health and illness experiences, Concepts and behaviours (Part IV). The work contributes to a number of fields of study, illustrating the dynamics of the processes at work in each area. It is, however, in combination that the Parts of the study demonstrate the contribution that can be made to the understanding of illness behaviours by a sociological analysis which is committed to elucidating the logic of these behaviours fram the actor's perspective, in the context of his/her other life experiences.