Hypertension As a Bodily Narrative of Traumatic Interaction in Academic Work Environment. a Case Study of a Young Female Professor in a Mexican State University

Monday, 11 July 2016: 09:15
Location: Hörsaal 22 (Juridicum)
Oral Presentation
Veronika SIEGLIN, Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon, Mexico
During the last decades there has emerged a considerable amount of literature about the incidence of hypertension (HT) and cardiovascular disease (CVD) in working population and their relationship to workplace features (for example, Albus et al, 2004; de Gaudemaris, 2011; Kivimäki, 2015; Loerbroks et al, 2015; Nyklicek et al, 1997; Pervickko, 2014). Most studies draw on quantitative methods and are based con the Effort-Reward-Imbalance-Model (ERI) or on the Job-Demand-Control-Model. Although they have generated valuable information about organizacional, social and psychological  factors related  to HT and CVD, only few studies highlight subjective experience, especially workers’ suffering when being inmersed in unfavourable workplace environments.               

                Drawing on the phenomenology of Merleau-Ponty, psychoanalysis of Mitscherlich and Critical Theory of Marcuse, this paper explores the exposition of a 35 year old Mexican female university professor to three year lasting intense workplace harrassment, her struggles for sense-making and her ways of coping. Although she had no previous risk factors, she developped HT during this lapse. Symptom formation is understood as a substitution of words that could not be found and not be pronounced in a situation of extreme power imbalance.

                This paper is part of an ongoing quantitative and qualitative study on health problems and work environment in Mexican State universities. The study comprises  733 full-time professors, all of them members of Mexican Researcher System.  Hypertension (HT) affected 26% of participants. The actual paper is based on a semi-structured interview. Transcripted interview has been subject to discourse analysis.