A discursive psychology analysis of emotional support for men with colorectal cancer

Rennoldson, M., Brennan, J., Tolosa, I. and Ismail, T., 2013. A discursive psychology analysis of emotional support for men with colorectal cancer. Psychology & Health, 28 (11), pp. 1323-1336. ISSN 0887-0446


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Recent research into both masculinity and health, and the provision of social support for people with cancer has focussed upon the variations that may underlie broad assumptions about masculine health behaviour. The research reported here pursues this interest in variation by addressing the discursive properties of talk about emotional support, by men with colorectal cancer - an understudied group in the social support and cancer literature. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with eight men with colorectal cancer, and the transcripts analysed using an intensive discursive psychology approach. From this analysis two contrasting approaches to this group of men’s framing of emotional support in the context of cancer are described. First, talk about cancer was positioned as incompatible with preferred masculine identities. Second, social contact that affirms personal relationships was given value, subject to constraints arising from discourses concerning appropriate emotional expression. These results are discussed with reference to both the extant research literature on masculinity and health, and their clinical implications, particularly the advice on social support given to older male cancer patients, their families and friends.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Psychology & Health
Creators: Rennoldson, M., Brennan, J., Tolosa, I. and Ismail, T.
Publisher: Routledge
Place of Publication: Abingdon
Date: 2013
Volume: 28
Number: 11
ISSN: 0887-0446
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: EPrints Services
Date Added: 28 Oct 2015 10:34
Last Modified: 23 Aug 2016 09:15
URI: https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/25999

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