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Health help‐seeking by men in Brunei Darussalam: masculinities and 'doing' male identities across the life course

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Simon Forrest


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Using data collected through semi-structured interviews and focus groupdiscussions with 37 adult men living in Brunei Darussalam, this paper exploreshow masculinities and expectations about male roles across the life courseinfluence men’s perceptions, of and attitudes towards health and health helpseekingbehaviour. Bruneian men gave accounts that consistently spoke of a seriesof masculine roles and associated attributes and behaviours, which mapped acrossthe life course. Men described health and the steps that they had taken to protecttheir health in terms of responsibilities associated with being a breadwinner,provider of support for parents, role model and leader of the family. Whilstadherence to Bruneian norms about masculinity could obstruct men’s engagementwith health help-seeking, we also found that men mobilised their understanding ofBruneian masculinity such that it provided culturally legitimate way of engaging inhealth help-seeking. We conclude by considering implications for furtherdevelopment of conceptualisations of masculinities, particularly responding to thecall to consider Connell’s theory of ‘hegemonic masculinity’ in the context of theGlobal South. We also consider the implications of the findings of this research forpolicy and practice in provision of health promotion and services in Brunei.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Idris DR, Forrest SP, Brown SR

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Sociology of Health & Illness

Year: 2019

Volume: 41

Issue: 6

Pages: 1071-1087

Print publication date: 01/07/2019

Online publication date: 25/03/2019

Acceptance date: 04/02/2019

ISSN (print): 0141-9889

ISSN (electronic): 1467-9566

Publisher: Wiley


DOI: 10.1111/1467-9566.12885


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