Masculinities in the construction industry: A double-edged sword for health and wellbeing?
Construction remains a male-dominated industry and men in construction suffer high rates of illness and injury compared to other industries. Consideration of men and masculinities may support any attempt to maintain and promote the health and wellbeing of construction workers. This paper discusses qualitative case study research conducted with stakeholders in the UK construction industry around health and wellbeing. Our thematic analysis highlights how masculinities operate to both inhibit and promote healthy practices. On the one hand, a culture of stoicism pertaining to illness or injury was evident, whilst a competitive ethos between occupational groups was observed to increase risk-taking and poor health choices. However, interviewees identified homosocial camaraderie and respect for lived experience as a means to promote positive health behaviour. Differences between younger and older generations of employees were noted. Overall, we argue that men’s work and associated health practices can be understood as ‘rational’ individualised responses to structural deregulation and insecurity within the construction industry. Keywords
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Citation : Hanna, H., Gough, B., Markham, S. (2019) Masculinities in the construction industry: A double-edged sword for health and wellbeing? Gender, Work and Organization,
ISSN : 0968-6673
Research Institute : Institute for Allied Health Sciences Research
Peer Reviewed : Yes