Analyzing the Second Interview (Update 4)

I decided to analyze each interview transcript separately before attempting to collate the themes from each. It helps me keep organized and will make any themes that vary by participant demographics – which were collected in a quick survey – more prominent. This second interview that I analyzed was quite similar to the first; there were major themes of medicalization, medical authority, first experiences, and sex education. I more fully outlined each of these themes in my most previous post (update 3). Again, I included a miscellaneous category meant to serve as a catch-all for other parts of the interview that stuck out to me. Like the first interview, there were subtle mentions of class and disparate access to medical resources that served as a barrier to care. These were less prominent than they were in the first interview, but were noticeable nonetheless.

Also, I noticed something I termed in my analysis as the “medical gaze.” I see this as similar to the concept of a female gaze, which describes the tendency – reinforced by society and the male gaze – of women to see themselves from a male perspective. The medical gaze is, therefore, the tendency – reinforced by society and medicalization – of people (women specifically) to see and judge themselves from a medical perspective. This looked not only like participants recounting times when they have deferred to medical explanations, but it most often manifested itself as self-doubt and destructive self-talk in the context of medicine. More specifically, this participant referred to themselves as “lazy” because they had not yet seen a gynecologist though they had never had a need to do so. The medical gaze is still a concept I’m working on in my head, but I’m excited to see what further analysis produces.

Lastly, I noticed in both this interview and the last one that familiarity with a doctor tends to breed positive experiences. So the more times someone goes to a specific doctor, the more likely they are to report that they have good feelings about going to that doctor. There are probably a lot of reasons for this, some big ones being trust and the effect of a consumer-based health care system where patients shop around for a ‘good’ doctor. I’ll dive deeper into this theme later as well.