Understanding the health of lorry drivers in context: A critical discourse analysis

Caddick, Nick and Varela-Mato, Veronica and Nimmo, Myra A. and Clemes, Stacey and Yates, Tom and King, James A. (2017) Understanding the health of lorry drivers in context: A critical discourse analysis. Health: An Interdisciplinary Journal for the Social Study of Health, Illness and Medicine, 21 (1). pp. 38-56. ISSN 1461-7196

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1177/1363459316644492

Abstract

This article moves beyond previous attempts to understand health problems in the lives of professional lorry drivers by placing the study of drivers’ health in a wider social and cultural context. A combination of methods including focus groups, interviews and observations were used to collect data from a group of 24 lorry drivers working at a large transport company in the United Kingdom. Employing a critical discourse analysis, we identified the dominant discourses and subject positions shaping the formation of drivers’ health and lifestyle choices. This analysis was systematically combined with an exploration of the gendered ways in which an almost exclusively male workforce talked about health. Findings revealed that drivers were constituted within a neoliberal economic discourse, which is reflective of the broader social structure, and which partly restricted drivers’ opportunities for healthy living. Concurrently, drivers adopted the subject position of ‘average man’ as a way of defending their personal and masculine status in regards to health and to justify jettisoning approaches to healthy living that were deemed too extreme or irrational in the face of the constraints of their working lives. Suggestions for driver health promotion include refocusing on the social and cultural – rather than individual – underpinnings of driver health issues and a move away from moralistic approaches to health promotion.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: discourse analysis, gender and health, lifestyle
Faculty: ARCHIVED Faculty of Health, Social Care & Education (until September 2018)
Depositing User: Lisa Blanshard
Date Deposited: 10 Sep 2019 10:51
Last Modified: 14 Nov 2019 16:00
URI: https://arro.anglia.ac.uk/id/eprint/704724

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