Sharing Experiences of Contested Illness by Storytelling
2004 (English)In: Discourse & Society, ISSN 0957-9265, E-ISSN 1460-3624, Vol. 15, no 1, 33-53 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Based on audiotaped conversations from a patient school for adults suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome, this article examines sharing experiences of illness as a mutual activity. The analysis shows that sharing experiences in this context is primarily of the narrative kind. Three main types of narratives were found: self-contained personal stories, orchestrated chained personal stories, and co-narrated collectivized stories. Through sharing three things seem to happen: (1) the participants jointly created experiential knowledge and a mutual image of the illness, (2) the individual sufferers could compare themselves to the jointly constructed image, (3) the active sharing of experience bestows a mutual confirmation of suffering irrespective of whether the individual’s experiences correspond or deviate from the common picture. Two parallel transitions seemed to occur: the transformation of personal experience into shared collectivized experiences and the transition when the individual sufferer perceives his/her private suffering through sharing experiences with co-sufferers.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2004. Vol. 15, no 1, 33-53 p.
chronic illness, co-narration, identity, illness experience, narrative analysis, storytelling
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-24102DOI: 10.1177/0957926504038943Local ID: 3675OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-24102DiVA: diva2:244419