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Perceptions of prostate cancer risk in white working class, African Caribbean and Somali men living in South East Wales: a constructivist grounded theory

Fry, Sarah 2017. Perceptions of prostate cancer risk in white working class, African Caribbean and Somali men living in South East Wales: a constructivist grounded theory. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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This thesis presents an in-depth study that explored the differences in perceptions of prostate cancer risk, between Black and White men living in South East Wales. The study grew from the researcher’s experience of working in prostate cancer clinics in Wales. During this time, it became apparent that Black men were underrepresented in these clinics. A review of the literature found that African and African Caribbean men have a 1 in 4 risk of prostate cancer, which is twice the lifetime risk of White men. The literature also revealed a worldwide concern about low prostate cancer diagnosis rates in Black men and high mortality rates. It is known that Black men are likely to live in areas of deprivation in the United Kingdom, and this is thought to contribute further to disparities in cancer diagnosis and mortality rates. For this reason, all the men in this research were recruited from areas of deprivation. This research used a constructivist grounded theory approach to explore how prostate cancer risk perception differs between three distinct ethnic groups of men without a diagnosis of prostate cancer. These men were drawn from Somali, African Caribbean and White Working Class cultural groups. The men took part in semi-structured interviews and focus groups to gain an understanding of how they talked about their bodies and their health, and their understanding of prostate cancer risk. A total of 17 men were interviewed and three focus groups were conducted with men from White Working Class, African Caribbean and Somali communities. Extensive community engagement was required to gain access to all the men participating in this study, which involved finding novel and imaginative ways to recruit participants to research of this nature. The findings suggest that the men’s perception of prostate cancer risk is formed from their social and cultural background of inclusion or exclusion in relation to the majority population. The findings are explained using the theoretical framework of embodiment and drawing on the habitus and field theory of Bourdieu as well as social constructions of masculinity. From the African Caribbean perspective, the men emphasised risks of emasculation, which has raised the importance of the status of healthy body image as masculine in this community. Similarly, the Somali men talked about the development of community to embody their status as a Somali man and to create a space that reflects their background and country of origin. Conversely, White Working Class men talked about the body in terms of individual experiences of health and illness, rather than being framed by a community structure. From these insights, this research proposes a grounded theory that emphasises cultural differences in the social construction of the body and how this influences the way the men perceive their risk for prostate cancer. This is based on different expectations of the male body and social constructions of masculinity. These insights should be attended to when providing appropriate health messages, with the greatest cultural impact and relevance

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Healthcare Sciences
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 7 December 2017
Last Modified: 21 Dec 2021 08:50

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