Kampala Women Getting By: Wellbeing in the Time of AIDS

By Sandra Wallman | Go to book overview

Five
Household Wellbeing

Ethnographic & Women's Survey Responses

Here the focus changes from Kamwokya as a whole to households within it. The chapter draws substantially on responses to surveys carried out in the second phase of research in the area (see Chapter 1).

Initially, it was responses to an Ethnographic Survey question about health in the household which alerted us to the essential relevance to this study of the concept of wellbeing which appears as the subtitle of this book. The question was posed (in the English version of the ES questionnaire) in the form 'What is/ are the major health problem(s) in your household?' with an invitation to the respondent, by the interviewer's agency, to 'write in' their answer — i.e. there were no pre-coded answer categories imposed. Table 5.1 shows that by far the most common responses given were "illness' and 'lack of money', both as 'main' and 'second' problems respectively. The apparent illogic of these responses is explained by the fact that in Luganda it is not possible to distinguish between 'health' and 'wellbeing': the word bulamu signifies either and/or both conditions. In effect, the problems listed in Tables 5. 1a, b should be interpreted as threats or impediments to wellbeing in the household.

The inference drawn from a later question 'The way you see it, what are the major illnesses/diseases in Kamwokya?' is quite different and very much more specific. The medical orientation of the answers (Tables 5.10a, b) may have been encouraged by precoding and closing the response options, but, more importantly, the Luganda word for illness and /or disease (endwadde) is unambiguous — not the opposite of health! wellbeing because it is a concept of a different order.

These distinctions have implications for the discussion and promotion of 'health', and our experience demonstrates that even semantic error — where respondents are given the chance to correct it — may provoke insights into local meanings which the research had not anticipated.

This chapter considers 'health' in the holistic sense of 'wellbeing', as it is

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Kampala Women Getting By: Wellbeing in the Time of AIDS
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Photographs, Sketches, Maps & Figures viii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Notes on Contributors x
  • One - Introduction 1
  • Two - Kamwokya 17
  • Three - People in Place 47
  • Four - Community Life 73
  • Five - Household Wellbeing 90
  • Six - Treatment Options 111
  • Seven - Home Treatment 142
  • Eight - Children's Illnesses 152
  • Nine - Private Disease 166
  • Ten - Six Women 189
  • Eleven - Community Life II 206
  • Twelve - Summary & Conclusions 226
  • References 236
  • Index 241
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