The Psychology of Men's Health

The Psychology of Men's Health

The Psychology of Men's Health

The Psychology of Men's Health

Synopsis

• How do traditional concepts of masculinity restrict men's life choices and affect their health?

• Why is it that men die earlier than women?

• Can men find new ways of negotiating masculinity that are not injurious to their physical and emotional health?
This book provides a clear and relatively concise social psychology, drawing together the variety of arguments, controversies and approaches that constitute the field. It is organised around three interrelated aspects of critics' dissatisfaction with social psychology: its methods and claim to be a science (the paradigm crisis); its mental concepts and especially its view of selfhood (the conceptual crisis); and its dehumanising character and the political effects of psychological practices and knowledge (the moral/political crisis).

Several critical tools have guided efforts to rethink the discipline, such as sociological and philosophical studies of science, the turn to language, discourse analysis, feminism and poststructuralism. These are described and their usefulness is examined in providing a critique of and alternatives to social psychology's subject and method. The emphasis throughout is on the variety of approaches to deconstructing and reconstructing social psychology, encouraging a broad appreciation of subsequent controversies such as realism and agency. Students will welcome the clarity of the author's approach to a field which has seemed daunting and impenetrable in the past.

Excerpt

This series of books in health psychology is designed to support postgraduate and post-qualification studies in psychology, nursing, medicine and healthcare sciences. It is also intended to be accessible at advanced undergraduate level. The framework in which the books are set is psychosocial, in contrast to biomedical or physiological systems or organic disease approaches. Health psychology is growing rapidly as a field of study and as a profession. Concerned as it is with the application of psychological theories and models in the promotion and maintenance of health, and the individual and interpersonal aspects of adaptive behaviour in illness and disability, health psychology has a wide remit and a potentially important part to play in the future.

This book, written by Christina Lee and Glynn Owens, is addressed to students and researchers in various disciplines in health psychology and in health professions. It challenges the taken-for-granted assumption that men's health is unproblematic and that men's ways of being in the world are determined by individual choice. The close link between research methods and theory development in the history of psychology has tended to produce a particular way of seeing the world and the individuals within it, which has had a powerful impact on our understanding of people. For example, the discipline's close alliance with the scientific method, in particular the measurement of observable behaviour, means that it is difficult to conceive of some topics other than in ways in which they have been measured. Perhaps the best example of this is the notion of intelligence, which is exemplified by the IQ test. As readers will probably be aware, this way of measuring intelligence was largely developed in relation to boys and men, and has been severely criticized in the way it appears to discriminate against girls and women and those from other cultures and backgrounds. In fact, feminist psychology has been critical of the way that traditional psychology has tended to treat the attributes and experiences of . . .

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