This timely and assured text provides lecturers and students with a well informed, penetrating analysis of the key questions in medicine and society. The book is divided into three sections. It opens with a well judged account of the context of health and illness. It moves on to examine the process and experience of illness. Finally, it examines how health care is negotiated and delivered.

Experiencing Illness

Experiencing illness

Chapter Summary

This chapter describes:

  • how illness is laden with meaning, much of which cannot be addressed by medical science;
  • how questions of order and control of the onset of suffering are urgent for patients;
  • how illness can mean failure and be experienced as a stigmatized state;
  • how biographical disruption, failure and stigma are addressed through the construction of illness narratives.

Useful Terms for this Chapter

autopathography: a term coined for written accounts of the experience of serious illness

biographical disruption: the disruption between one's former healthy self with the current ill self brought about by the experience of illness

sick role: a reciprocal, unequal set of rights and obligations that structure doctors' and patients' behaviour and expectations

stigma: a condition or attribute that marks the bearer as ...

  • Loading...
locked icon

Sign in to access this content

Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

  • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
  • Read modern, diverse business cases
  • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles