Advanced

‘We are still young, but our burdens are heavy’ Exploring relations of gender, power and knowledge in a depression support group in rural South Africa

Deichmann, Lydia LU (2019) MIDM19 20191
LUMID International Master programme in applied International Development and Management
Department of Human Geography
Abstract
A significant number of people in rural areas of South Africa suffer with mental disorders such as depression, but lack access to specialist services. Additionally, patients face multiple barriers to access, such as poverty and far distances to services. This study aims to contribute to the gap in existing research on the crucial roles that power and knowledge can have in the governance of mental healthcare services. It explores how a depression support group is governed in a rural area of South Africa, and the gendered power/knowledge relations which are produced in the process. A feminist governmentality perspective is applied to the analysis to examine the effects that the group’s rationalities and techniques has on the female... (More)
A significant number of people in rural areas of South Africa suffer with mental disorders such as depression, but lack access to specialist services. Additionally, patients face multiple barriers to access, such as poverty and far distances to services. This study aims to contribute to the gap in existing research on the crucial roles that power and knowledge can have in the governance of mental healthcare services. It explores how a depression support group is governed in a rural area of South Africa, and the gendered power/knowledge relations which are produced in the process. A feminist governmentality perspective is applied to the analysis to examine the effects that the group’s rationalities and techniques has on the female participants’ agency. This case study focuses on women’s views through semi-structured interviews, and the healthcare workers who are involved with the group. The main findings highlight that as women become responsible for mental healthcare by learning ‘expert’ knowledge, there are a number of barriers restricting their agency to change socioeconomic situations, whilst their gendered burdens become heavier. It concludes that persisting power structures and sociocultural norms restrict the women from gaining enough power/knowledge to become independent selves, and agents of change are limited. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Deichmann, Lydia LU
supervisor
organization
course
MIDM19 20191
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
South Africa, depression, rural, mental health, women, governmentality, Foucault, responsibilisation, power/knowledge, agency
language
English
id
8976124
date added to LUP
2019-10-17 14:07:10
date last changed
2019-10-17 14:07:10
@misc{8976124,
  abstract     = {A significant number of people in rural areas of South Africa suffer with mental disorders such as depression, but lack access to specialist services. Additionally, patients face multiple barriers to access, such as poverty and far distances to services. This study aims to contribute to the gap in existing research on the crucial roles that power and knowledge can have in the governance of mental healthcare services. It explores how a depression support group is governed in a rural area of South Africa, and the gendered power/knowledge relations which are produced in the process. A feminist governmentality perspective is applied to the analysis to examine the effects that the group’s rationalities and techniques has on the female participants’ agency. This case study focuses on women’s views through semi-structured interviews, and the healthcare workers who are involved with the group. The main findings highlight that as women become responsible for mental healthcare by learning ‘expert’ knowledge, there are a number of barriers restricting their agency to change socioeconomic situations, whilst their gendered burdens become heavier. It concludes that persisting power structures and sociocultural norms restrict the women from gaining enough power/knowledge to become independent selves, and agents of change are limited.},
  author       = {Deichmann, Lydia},
  keyword      = {South Africa,depression,rural,mental health,women,governmentality,Foucault,responsibilisation,power/knowledge,agency},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {‘We are still young, but our burdens are heavy’ Exploring relations of gender, power and knowledge in a depression support group in rural South Africa},
  year         = {2019},
}