Presentation on theme: "Chronic Illness and Social (Dis)ability"— Presentation transcript:
1Chronic Illness and Social (Dis)ability Week 21Sociology of Health and Illness
2Recap Thought about how health and illness are structured by society Considered the ‘sick role’, medicalisation, surveillance medicine and ‘lay’ understandings of healthConsidered social inequalities and health
3Outline Look at chronic illness as biographical disruption Consider to what extend disability is socially constructedConsider the points of intersection and contestation between these two ideas
4The rise of chronic illness The 20th saw a move from acute illness to chronic illnessExisting theories (eg ‘sick role’)could not easily explain these conditionsThe meaning and experiences of‘living with’ illness began the focusof sociological attention
5Illness as narrative reconstruction Understandings of causes are constructed through the meanings and interpretations that are placed on itPeople make sense of their condition (why me?) in relation to their social circumstancesThis may not coincide with biological explanations
6Illness as narrative reconstruction Williams (1984) interviewed people with rheumatoid arthritisComplex understandings which rejected potential biomedical explanationsBill Made links to bad workplacesGill Gender rolesBetty God’s purposeNarratives can become a coping mechanism
7How useful do you think the idea of illness narratives is in explaining: The social construction of illness?The why me question of individuals?
8Illness as biographical disruption Bury (1982) argued that the onset of chronic illness should be seen as a ‘biographical disruption’A person’s identity is underthreat as it changes theirpreviously ‘normal life’They need to reassess their lives and perhaps adapt/take on a ‘new’ identity
9Illness as biographical disruption Issues include dealing with the uncertainty of symptoms or life expectancyLearning to live with an altered body or statusDeciding whether or not todisclose condition/symptoms/issues
10StigmaGoffman highlighted the ways in which bodies and illnesses come to be stigmatisedStigma arises when an deeply discrediting attribute become knownIt realigns an identityfrom ‘normal’ to ‘discredited’
11What conditions can you think of that are stigmatised? How do you think this will impact on biographical disruption
12Perspectives on Disability From the Victorian Period onwards two dominant perspectives on disabilitydisability as a tragedy which has required the assistance of charitydisability as illness which has required treatment by professionals
13Disability MovementIn the last 40 years, people with disabilities have challenged these ideasSeparation of illness and disabilityPush for independent living and civil rightsThe social model of disabilitySuccesses include the Disability Discrimination Act and benefits paid directly to people with disabilities
14The social model of disability This model argues that is not physical or mental impairmentsSocieties failure to cope withtheir needsPhysically through thebuild environmentMentally throughdisabling attitudes
15Maintaining ControlThe Independent Living Movement has focused on the aims of controlRight to employmentAllowances for personal assistanceNeeds need to met without disempowering the person with impairments
16To what extend do you think that the experiences of disability are socially constructed?
17Competing theoriesSeeing illness as always biographically disrupting is problematicSeen as inevitable part of ageing?Reinforce some ideas about the self?Does it reinforce the idea of bodily impairments as a personal tragedy?
18Competing theoriesThe social model of disability has been critiqued for overemphasise physical and economic barriersIt ‘fits’ better with static ratherthan deteriorating conditionsIt does not easily explain how people adjust to bodily pain or impairment
19SummaryConsidered a range of theories which look at the experience and meaning of chronic illness and disabilityComing to terms with different bodies can cause a re/conceptualisation of the selfStigma and social barriers impact of experiences of impairments
20Next week Look at sociological understandings of mental illness Consider relationships between social problems and mental healthLook at the impact of racism and sexism in diagnosis and treatment