Accepted Paper:

Gender and Wellness in urban Ibadan, Oyo state Nigeria  


Oluwaseunfunmi Olutayo (University of Ibadan)

Paper short abstract:

The paper interrogates the phenomenon of wellness among the Nigerian urban middle class. It compares how the two genders interrogate wellness in Ibadan which has served historically as a capital city for over five decade.

Paper long abstract:

Wellness is a nineteenth century phenomenon which redefined the meaning of good health from the absence of illness to an ongoing pursuit of functionality. It changed the objective meaning of health to a subjective one in which self-management, self-empowerment strategies are prescribed. These new developments were, of course, a characteristic of the European industrial revolution and urbanization which threw up the new middle class that questioned the existing societal interpretation of meanings. Of significance, however, is the continuity in this questioning in the twentieth century with regards to wellness with the global wellness industry valued at $3.7 trillion in 2015.

Though with a different historico-sociological experience, Nigeria was incorporated into the industrial world capitalist system in the nineteenth century. About more than two centuries later, the question is whether the new middle class in Nigeria has imbibed that questioning of the status quo mentality typical of the European experience. This paper interrogates the phenomenon in the definition of wellness among the Nigerian urban middle class. Of central interest would be a comparison of how the two genders interrogate wellness. Methodologically, we focus on Ibadan which was the capital of the Western region during the First Republic, the capital of Western state during the Second Republic, the capital of the 'big' Oyo state, comprising of Osun and Oyo states, and, later, the smaller Oyo state.

Word count: 224

Key words: Gender, Wellness, urban Ibadan, Oyo state Nigeria

Panel P185
In pursuit of "wellness"