Proceedings of The 5th Global Conference on Women’s Studies
Construction, Perception and Strategies of Health Risk
Risk has emerged as a dominant cultural aspect of modern society as well as a central theme in contemporary discourses. This study focuses on “health risk” through the interview of HPV vaccination’s meaning among young Chinese women for two purposes. First, explores the social construction and transmission of HPV risk through the discussion of discursive strategies. There are three main ways to learn about the vaccine: first, introduction by people they know, second, media publicity, and third, school education.A second purpose is to place the risk perception and women’s vaccination decisions in the context of the social milieu in which they occur. According to the results of narrative analysis, interviewees can be divided into two main groups according to the extent to which their actions are influenced by external information: formalists and self-awareness. The latter group shows a higher level of reflexivity than the former group in making the HPV vaccination decision. The group with self-awareness also demonstrates a strong sense of self-body management. Despite individual’s reflexivity level varies, it is clear that risk calculation conscious is prevalent when pursuing HPV vaccine. On the one hand, risk calculation reflects human self-reflexivity and reason, as defined by neoliberalism; on the other hand, it also reflects that future hazards are influencing current activities, the future, is central to risk awareness. At this moment, people are taking proactive action to prevent, mitigate or prevent the challenges and disasters of tomorrow and the day after.
keywords: health risk, gender, reflexivity, HPV, vaccination