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Biographical Disruption
Biographical disruption
The Experience of Living with a Chronic Illness

The experiencing of ill health over a long period of time is very much a feature of twenty-first-century Britain. This phenomenon reflects the massive decline in mortality from infections that was characteristic of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, in combination with the increasing percentage of the population who are elderly which has resulted from the increases in life expectancy in the same time period (see Public health).

Until the 1970s, sociology had little to say about living with a chronic illness as a social experience, and was largely subsumed under Parson's (1951) conception of the ‘sick role’ or seen as the concern of other disciplines such as medical science and biology. However, over the past 30 ...

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