Gendered health and well-being : exploring links between health and social praxes for men in British motorcycling

Brown, Susan (2018) Gendered health and well-being : exploring links between health and social praxes for men in British motorcycling. PhD thesis, University of Bolton.

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Gendered health inequalities are socially-determined and remain a public health concern among men. Traditionally ‘masculine’ characteristics (eg stoicism) are routinely implicated by research, but evidence of healthcare environments’ inaccessibility to men has been observed. Motorcycling is predominantly male, mainstream leisure and enjoyed by men of all ages and abilities. Motorcycling environments, stereotypically masculine, offer men social, although not always healthful rewards. Associations between men’s well-being, health and gendered social praxes are unclear because they are under-researched and effects of traditional (hegemonic) masculinity are often assumed. The study investigates those associations to establish what influences male motorcyclists’ (MMs) health-relevant behaviour, explore their understandings and expression of health and well-being, and examine convergence between their health, well-being and social practices. Its approach was ethnographic, mixed method and cross-sectional. Quantitative data were collected using a web-based self-administered survey available to MMs via diverse well-known webPortals (eg Motorcycle News) from July-December 2012 (N = 1752). Respondents, aged 16-77 years old, came from all four UK countries. Statistical analyses showed that, irrespective of age, MM’s average mental well-being (measured using the short Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-Being Scale) exceeded English population norms for the same period. Statistically significant associations existed between well-being, marital status and advanced rider training. Age, alcohol use profile and ideological orientation towards traditional masculinity all shared statistically significant associations with riding speeds, and health-relevant behavioural and social risk-taking. Qualitative data were gathered concurrently from a randomly-drawn nested subset of 545 self-selected surveyed men (N = 33). Thematic analyses revealed MMs’ public health compliance influenced by three main drivers: prior ill-health exposure, homosocial edgework and competitive sport orientation. MMs’ health, well-being and social practices converged on complex trade-offs between compliance, well-being, socially-identified cultural masculinity and risk-taking norms. MMs favour proactive, informal, small-scale, innovative, action-oriented peer-led health-relevant self-help. This study is the first of its kind.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: An electronic version of the thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the University of Bolton for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy
Divisions: University of Bolton Theses > Health and Well Being
Depositing User: Tracey Gill
Date Deposited: 03 Jun 2019 14:11
Last Modified: 03 Jun 2019 14:11

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