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'If you feel that nobody wants you you'll withdraw into your own': Gypsies/Travellers, networks and healthcare utilisation

'If you feel that nobody wants you you'll withdraw into your own': Gypsies/Travellers, networks and healthcare utilisation

Smith, David and Ruston, Annmarie (2013) 'If you feel that nobody wants you you'll withdraw into your own': Gypsies/Travellers, networks and healthcare utilisation. Sociology of Health and Illness, 35 (8). pp. 1196-1210. ISSN 0141-9889 (Print), 1467-9566 (Online) (doi:https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9566.12029)

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Abstract

Gypsies and Travellers are the unhealthiest group in British society, suffering from higher levels of physical and mental illness, lower life expectancy and with low levels of healthcare utilisation. They also continue to experience the highest level of prejudice and discrimination in society. While studies indicate that social networks play an important role in shaping health beliefs and the response to symptoms, evidence on the influence of networks on health is unclear and contradictory. This article draws on social network theory and research into the relation between discrimination and health to critically examine how networks mediate between collective experiences of racism and health-related behavior. Qualitative interviews with 39 adult Gypsies and Travellers were conducted in the South-East of England to explore the wider structural and institutional context and the influence those contexts play in shaping health beliefs and decisions whether to access formal health services. The findings indicate that the influence networks play in shaping health behaviour is dependent on the particular social context of the group and its status in relation to wider social structures, making generalization problematic.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Gypsies and Travellers, health inequalities, social networks, lay referral structure, discrimination
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Pre-2014 Departments: School of Health & Social Care > Department of Social Work & Health Development
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:22
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/8805

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