This article presents a study of the social, emotional and physical health lifestyle behaviours of a socially marginalised segment of Canada's population: retired, widowed, immigrant mothers from a South Asian country. Using a narrative research process, we explore how present physical, emotional and social health leisure activities are influenced by behaviours from their childhood, with emphasis on migration to Canada, retirement and widowing as lifestyle behavioural change points. Our sample of immigrant women were living in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada during the time of the study. The study employed narrative inquiry, which is often used in migration studies. Our qualitative data analyses uncovered themes that linked present social health activities and early life behaviours and the influence on them of cultural constraints or stimulants. Three forms of sociocultural influences, gender segregation, patriarchal protection and early preparation for marriage, shaped adolescence and adult life as less physically active but more emotionally and socially healthy. Later life events, migration, retirement and widowing, enabled women to gain freedom to renegotiate and reconstruct late‐life styles to be more physically and socially active through ethno‐cultural social networks they had built after migration. The concluding discussion makes recommendations for health and social programme planning to draw attention to cultural realms that could help these women become physically active after migration without compromising traditional social behaviours.
Weerasinghe, S. and Numer, M. (2010), "A Life‐Course Exploration of the Social, Emotional and Physical Health Behaviours of Widowed South Asian Immigrant Women in Canada: Implications for Health and Social Programme Planning", International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care, Vol. 6 No. 4, pp. 42-56. https://doi.org/10.5042/ijmhsc.2011.0153Download as .RIS
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