General Practice - Research Publications

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    Negotiations of distress between East Timorese and Vietnamese refugees and their family doctors in Melbourne
    Kokanovic, R ; May, C ; Dowrick, C ; Furler, J ; Newton, D ; Gunn, J (WILEY-BLACKWELL, 2010-05-01)
    Recent critiques of depression have contested its coherence as a concept and highlighted its performance in medicalising distress. Studies of depression in a cross-cultural context have focused on language and belief systems as technical barriers to practice that need to be overcome in enacting depression work. This paper seeks to locate culture within the broader socio-structural context of depression care in general practice. The paper draws on interviews with five general practitioners (GPs), and 24 patients from Vietnamese and East Timorese backgrounds who predominantly have left their home as refugees. Each had been diagnosed with depression or prescribed antidepressants. These patients gave accounts of distress deeply embedded within, and inseparable from, lives fraught with frightening pre-migration experiences, traumatic escape and profound dislocation and alienation in their new 'home'. Fragmented lives were contrasted with the nourishing social fabric of homes left behind. GP participants were involved in a process of engaging with a profoundly communal and structural account of emotional distress while defending and drawing on an individualised notion of depression in performing their work and accounting for the pain presented to them.
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    Stigma or respect: Lesbian-parented families negotiating school settings
    Lindsay, J ; Perlesz, A ; Brown, R ; McNair, R ; de Vaus, D ; Pitts, M (SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD, 2006-12-01)
    This article explores the interface between lesbian-parented families and mainstream society through the example of schools. Lesbian-parented families are an increasingly visible family form; they are diverse and complex and raise challenges for heteronormative social institutions. Based on qualitative family interviews with lesbian-parented families in Melbourne, we discuss the dialectic between schools and families. In many heteronormative school contexts family members were stigmatized and burdened by secrecy and fear about their family configuration. However, there were also a significant minority of family members who felt respected, supported and safe within the school environment.These parents and children were out and proud about their families, and schools had responded with acceptance in both the schoolyard and the curriculum. We discuss the contextual factors (including social location and family formation), impacting on and constraining the interface between the families and schools, and point to opportunities for change.