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Sexual and reproductive health among indigenous Mexican adolescents: a socio-representational perspective

Priego Hernández, Jacqueline (2011) Sexual and reproductive health among indigenous Mexican adolescents: a socio-representational perspective. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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In this thesis I advance a socio–representational perspective on sexual and reproductive health as constructed by indigenous Mexican adolescents. The social and psychological literature on health among indigenous populations and on adolescent sexual health is reviewed. It is argued that a socio–psychological perspective is needed to understand the resources through which contemporary indigenous youth, a population overlooked by research, make sense of their sexual and reproductive health. In generating the theoretical tools to tackle this issue, I adopt a dialogical approach to social representations theory to sharpen Jovchelovitch’s (2007) model of knowledge encounters by proposing a typology of potential outcomes of these encounters. The empirical research involved female and male indigenous adolescents in two social contexts: rural and urban. In–depth individual interviews, focus group discussions and unstructured observations were employed for data elicitation. Results from the interpretative thematic analysis performed are presented through a ‘funnelling’ approach whereby the interdependent engagements of indigenous adolescents with their social context, their partners and specific health beliefs are discussed by highlighting nuanced differences in relation to social context and gender. Key findings are related to the understanding of romantic relationships in terms of stability and continuity, which impacts on the way that sex and contraception are perceived and experienced. Results also reveal that, in dialogue with others, adolescents come to identify alternative ways of positioning themselves with regards to customary discourses about sexual health. Focus group discussions are further examined through a dialogical analysis of interactions that aim to identify, in sociodialogue, the outcomes of knowledge encounters initially proposed. A further data–driven outcome is subsequently added to the typology and analytical categories are refined. Implications for health promotion in terms of the reflexion entailed in dialogue are offered in the conclusion chapter.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2011 Jacqueline Priego Hernández
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Sets: Departments > Psychological and Behavioural Science
Supervisor: Jovchelovitch, Sandra

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