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Papers of the Week

Papers: 9 Sep 2023 - 15 Sep 2023

Psychology, Sex/Gender/Race

Human Studies


2023 Sep 09

Soc Sci Med



Different logics of pain: the gendered dimension of chronic pain in a relational setting.


Melander S


This study aims to increase our understanding of the gendered dimension of living with chronic pain within a relational context. The empirical setting for this study is Sweden, a country widely recognised for its long history of gender equality. Interview responses from 21 women and 12 men were analysed using the feminist notion of the marriage contract, outlining the terms for women and men living together in a relationship. The result shows how living with chronic pain leads to processes of grief and altered priorities. Respondents emphasize the importance of equality. However, men and women apply different logics when deciding which tasks to prioritise. Although there is no distinct pattern regarding whether or not couples share housework equally, the allocation of responsibilities appears to follow a particular pattern: men tend to prioritise their rehabilitation to become good fathers, women are grateful and prioritise the family before her own well-being. The study indicates that while attitudes and the allocation of household chores may have changed in the past few decades, the marriage contract still restricts women from employment and rehabilitation.