Developing an intersectionality based framework for health promotion

Douglas, Jenny (2016). Developing an intersectionality based framework for health promotion. In: 22nd International Union of Health Promotion and Education World Conference, 22-26 May 2016, Curitiba, Brazil.



[IUHPE Conference Abstract]
Cigarette smoking among African-Caribbean young women in Britain has been under-researched. This paper investigates the patterns of cigarette smoking and influences on cigarette smoking among young African-Caribbean women aged 15 to 17 in urban Britain. It reports on a study which uses a multi-method, interdisciplinary research design which 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 people were collected using a self-completion questionnaire in schools in a city in the West Midlands to compare the influence of gender, ethnicity, social class on cigarette smoking behaviour and perceptions of cigarette smoking in an ethnically diverse cross section of young people. 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.

While there is a body of literature on gender and smoking which explores working class identity, an exploration of gender, ethnicity and class and how this is expressed through smoking behaviour is absent from this research. This study highlights the need for new directions in research on young women and cigarette smoking which include the utilisation of intersectionality theory.

An intersectional approach is distinguished from a social- determinants-of health-approach (Reid et al, 2012) by the recognition that social categories are not simply additive (e.g. gender and ’race’ and class) but that something new is created and experienced at the intersection of one or more categories (Hankivsky et al, 2010).

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