Cigarette smoking and African Caribbean young women in the UK: intersections of race, ethnicity, gender, class and tobacco.

Douglas, Jenny (2014). Cigarette smoking and African Caribbean young women in the UK: intersections of race, ethnicity, gender, class and tobacco. In: International Intersectionality Conference, 24-26 Apr 2014, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver.

Abstract

This paper investigates cigarette smoking among young African-Caribbean women aged 15 to 17 in urban Britain. It reports on a study that uses a multi-method, interdisciplinary research design that combines approaches from health promotion, women’s studies and sociology. It explores how ‘race’, class and gender intersect with cigarette smoking. In the first stage, data on patterns and influences on smoking behaviour in young African, African-Caribbean and white women people were collected using a self-completion questionnaire to compare the influence of gender, ethnicity, social class on cigarette smoking behaviour and perceptions of cigarette smoking. In the second stage seven focus groups were conducted with young African-Caribbean women to collect qualitative data on factors which influence smoking behaviour and the meaning that smoking has for this group of young women.

The study concludes that while there is a body of literature on gender and smoking which demonstrates an association between social disadvantage and cigarette smoking in white women, this explanation does not necessarily apply to black women. An exploration of gender, ‘race’, ethnicity, class and cigarette smoking in this study highlights the need for new directions in health promotion research on young women and cigarette smoking that utilise an intersectional framework.

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