Social change and women's health
Over the past five decades, the organization of women's lives has
changed dramatically. Throughout the industrialized world, paid work and
family biographies have been altered as the once-dominant role of
homemaker has given way to the role of secondary, dual, or even primary
wage-earner. The attendant changes represent a mix of gains and losses
for women, in which not all women have benefited (or suffered) equally.
But little is known about the health consequences. This article
addresses that gap. It develops a "situated biographies" model to
conceptualize how life course change may influence women's health. The
model stresses the role of time, both as individual aging and as the
anchoring of lives in particular historical periods. "Situating"
biographies in this way highlights two key features of social change in
women's lives: the ambiguous implications for the health of women as a
group, and the probable connections to growing social and economic
disparities in health among them. This approach lays the groundwork for
more integrated and productive population-based research about how
historical transformations may affect women's health.
International Journal of Health Services
Volume and page numbers
43 , 499 -518
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