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Masculinity and emasculation for black men in modern mental health care

Mick McKeown (University of Central Lancashire, UK)
Steve Robertson (Research Fellow, University of Central Lancashire, UK)
Zemikael Habte‐Mariam (Equalities ‐ the National Council for Disabled People and their Carers, Black and Minority Ethnic Communities, London, UK)
Mark Stowell‐Smith (Cheshire and Wirral NHS Foundation Trust, UK)

Ethnicity and Inequalities in Health and Social Care

ISSN: 1757-0980

Article publication date: 1 June 2008



This paper reports on key findings from the practice survey wing of a broader knowledge review into mental health advocacy with African and Caribbean men funded by the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE). Selected themes from the analysis are discussed in the light of theory regarding ethnicity, masculinity and mental health. Conclusions are drawn that suggest that understandings of mental health and advocacy within black communities are congruent with ideologies of holism, recovery and transformational goals for services and society at large. This is in contrast to experiences in mainstream mental health services which privilege a relatively narrow medical model and treatments that are emasculating. The empowerment and emancipatory potential wrapped up in both individual and collective notions of advocacy can be seen as one part of a resistance to oppressive practices and a means of reclaiming personal efficacy and potency by virtue of challenging emasculation in services.



McKeown, M., Robertson, S., Habte‐Mariam, Z. and Stowell‐Smith, M. (2008), "Masculinity and emasculation for black men in modern mental health care", Ethnicity and Inequalities in Health and Social Care, Vol. 1 No. 1, pp. 42-51.



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Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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