The aim of our paper was to explore expressions of life choices and life chances (aspects of agency within structures) related to power and experiences of health among early unemployed adolescent young men during the transition period to adulthood. These expressions of agency within structure were interpreted in the light of Cockerham's Health Lifestyles Theory. Furthermore, social constructions of masculinities were addressed in our analysis.
Repeated interviews with ten young men in a cohort of school leavers were analyzed with qualitative content analysis.
Cockerham's model was useful for interpreting our findings and we found disposition to act to be a crucial theoretical tool to capture the will and intentions of participants in relation to health. We developed the model in the following ways: structure and socialization were visualized as surrounding the whole model. Analyses of what enhances or restricts power are important. In addition to practices of health lifestyles, we added experiences of health as outcome as well as emotional aspects in disposition to act. We interpret our findings as constructions of masculinities within certain structures, in relation to choices, habitus and practices.
Qualitative research could contribute to develop the understanding of the agency within structure relationships. Future studies need to pay attention to experiences of health among young people at the margin of the labor market in various milieus--and to analyze these in relation to gender constructions and within the frame-work of agency within structure.
Cites: Am J Public Health. 2014 Jun;104(6):1029-3524825202