2.50
Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/10755/158176
Type:
Presentation
Title:
Bodies, Health and Immigration: Tongan Women Negotiating Cultural Spaces
Abstract:
Bodies, Health and Immigration: Tongan Women Negotiating Cultural Spaces
Conference Sponsor:Western Institute of Nursing
Conference Year:2005
Author:Hardin, Pamela, RN, PhD, MN
P.I. Institution Name:University of Utah College of Nursing
Title:Assistant Professor
Purposes/Aims: The aim of the study was to explore and describe social norms, cultural beliefs, and attitudes toward exercise, weight, diet, and body image with Tongan women. A second aim of the study was to explore the intersections between the Tongan culture and Western cultures specific to health, diet, body image, exercise, and weight. Rationale/Background: The 2000 U.S. Census was the first U.S. Census to recognize ethnic differences between Asian Americans and Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders (PI's). Failure to differentiate between subgroups of Asian American, Native Hawaiians, and PI's in health care research has resulted in the absence of national health care objectives and data specifically targeting the concerns of PI's. As a group, PI's are at high risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and health risks associated with obesity. Methods: Five focus groups were conducted by the principle investigator and a member of the Tongan community. A total of 57 women of Tongan heritage, between the ages of 18 and 75, participated in the study. Critical discourse analysis was preformed on the data. A critical discourse analysis moves the analytic focal point away from the group and into broader social and cultural realms. Critical discourse analysis was not limited to the text produced by the research participants, but required reading between personal stories and the social, cultural, and historical discourses that make particular interpretations available. Results: As an Island people living on the mainland US, women of Tongan heritage were strongly influenced by their cultural heritage. Overall, the construct of large bodies were considered beautiful and healthier than bodies considered 'normal' in mainstream culture, which were also considered to be sickly. Unlike the dominant culture, the construct of 'health' and living 'healthier' was not viewed as a cultural priority; neither was losing weight to look better or losing weight to become healthier. Life priorities centered on family, community, and their church and faith. If individuals did become sick, lack of health care insurance greatly impacted how they accessed resources. Illness was frequently attributed to the availability of fast and unhealthy food in comparison to food in the islands. Importantly, participants were aware of generational shifts with respect to the influence of 'white' culture and 'Americanized' images on Tongan female youth who have begun using stimulants as a means of weight reduction. Implications: Implications from the study underscore the importance of identifying historical and cultural values specific to health, size, and social norms. Overweight and obesity in the Tongan culture is not viewed as deviant or unhealthy. Before the health care needs of Tongans and Pacific Islanders can be fully addressed, it is important that interventions are designed with the community. Interventions must also take into consideration different cultural perceptions, practices, values, and beliefs. Further research is needed that explores the intersections of Tongan female youth and the influence of westernized images of thin bodies that is resulting in the use of stimulants as a means of weight loss in young girls
Repository Posting Date:
26-Oct-2011
Date of Publication:
17-Oct-2011
Sponsors:
Western Institute of Nursing

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.typePresentationen_GB
dc.titleBodies, Health and Immigration: Tongan Women Negotiating Cultural Spacesen_GB
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10755/158176-
dc.description.abstract<table><tr><td colspan="2" class="item-title">Bodies, Health and Immigration: Tongan Women Negotiating Cultural Spaces</td></tr><tr class="item-sponsor"><td class="label">Conference Sponsor:</td><td class="value">Western Institute of Nursing</td></tr><tr class="item-year"><td class="label">Conference Year:</td><td class="value">2005</td></tr><tr class="item-author"><td class="label">Author:</td><td class="value">Hardin, Pamela, RN, PhD, MN</td></tr><tr class="item-institute"><td class="label">P.I. Institution Name:</td><td class="value">University of Utah College of Nursing</td></tr><tr class="item-author-title"><td class="label">Title:</td><td class="value">Assistant Professor</td></tr><tr class="item-email"><td class="label">Email:</td><td class="value">pamela.hardin@nurs.utah.edu</td></tr><tr><td colspan="2" class="item-abstract">Purposes/Aims: The aim of the study was to explore and describe social norms, cultural beliefs, and attitudes toward exercise, weight, diet, and body image with Tongan women. A second aim of the study was to explore the intersections between the Tongan culture and Western cultures specific to health, diet, body image, exercise, and weight. Rationale/Background: The 2000 U.S. Census was the first U.S. Census to recognize ethnic differences between Asian Americans and Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders (PI's). Failure to differentiate between subgroups of Asian American, Native Hawaiians, and PI's in health care research has resulted in the absence of national health care objectives and data specifically targeting the concerns of PI's. As a group, PI's are at high risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and health risks associated with obesity. Methods: Five focus groups were conducted by the principle investigator and a member of the Tongan community. A total of 57 women of Tongan heritage, between the ages of 18 and 75, participated in the study. Critical discourse analysis was preformed on the data. A critical discourse analysis moves the analytic focal point away from the group and into broader social and cultural realms. Critical discourse analysis was not limited to the text produced by the research participants, but required reading between personal stories and the social, cultural, and historical discourses that make particular interpretations available. Results: As an Island people living on the mainland US, women of Tongan heritage were strongly influenced by their cultural heritage. Overall, the construct of large bodies were considered beautiful and healthier than bodies considered 'normal' in mainstream culture, which were also considered to be sickly. Unlike the dominant culture, the construct of 'health' and living 'healthier' was not viewed as a cultural priority; neither was losing weight to look better or losing weight to become healthier. Life priorities centered on family, community, and their church and faith. If individuals did become sick, lack of health care insurance greatly impacted how they accessed resources. Illness was frequently attributed to the availability of fast and unhealthy food in comparison to food in the islands. Importantly, participants were aware of generational shifts with respect to the influence of 'white' culture and 'Americanized' images on Tongan female youth who have begun using stimulants as a means of weight reduction. Implications: Implications from the study underscore the importance of identifying historical and cultural values specific to health, size, and social norms. Overweight and obesity in the Tongan culture is not viewed as deviant or unhealthy. Before the health care needs of Tongans and Pacific Islanders can be fully addressed, it is important that interventions are designed with the community. Interventions must also take into consideration different cultural perceptions, practices, values, and beliefs. Further research is needed that explores the intersections of Tongan female youth and the influence of westernized images of thin bodies that is resulting in the use of stimulants as a means of weight loss in young girls</td></tr></table>en_GB
dc.date.available2011-10-26T20:35:05Z-
dc.date.issued2011-10-17en_GB
dc.date.accessioned2011-10-26T20:35:05Z-
dc.description.sponsorshipWestern Institute of Nursingen_GB
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