Negotiating health: perspectives from Pacific women in Dunedin
This thesis explores the relationship between Pacific women, their critiques concerning identity and health and how they manifest these concepts among themselves and their wider Pacific and New Zealand communities. This primary aim is discussed in five chapters which investigate not only participants' ideas, but also my own research journey concerning the issues identified above. Primarily, I propose that we move beyond biomedical statistical generalisations about Pacific women's health, to instead smaller qualitative research projects where diversity among Pacific women is recognised. "Pacific women" as an identity, involves a diverse group of individuals who have complex and sometimes contradictory views about health. Pacific women who work either vocationally or professionally between their Pacific communities and the health system are offered as a medium through which Pacific women and their ideas about health can be explored. The different interpretations of health by participants are discussed concentrating on the important responsibilities that Pacific women have in maintaining their own health as well as their families. This is debated in terms of acknowledging the complex mix of gender, class and cultural influences upon Pacific women's health. Equally recognised is the difficult task that many Pacific women have, in trying to balance and negotiate their cultural expressions of health, with their individual health needs. It is important to recognise that Pacific women's health issues therefore, do not exist in isolation, but represent a complex myriad of biomedical, social, spiritual and cultural expressions of health.
Advisor: Leckie, Jacqui
Degree Name: Master of Arts
Degree Discipline: Anthropology
Publisher: University of Otago
Research Type: Thesis