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Illness narratives revisited: the failure of narrative reductionism

Atkinson, Paul Anthony 2009. Illness narratives revisited: the failure of narrative reductionism. Sociological Research Online 14 (5) , 16. 10.5153/sro.2030

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The argument uses the proliferating research literature on 'illness narratives' to make a more general analytic point about the proper treatment of narratives and life-stories by social scientists. It is suggested that, notwithstanding earlier commentary and criticism, and despite the sophistication of authors such as Mishler, too many narrative-based studies fall far short of a thoroughly analytic approach to such spoken actions. Too often narratives are celebrated as the means for analysts to gain access to personal experience, to the subjective or private aspects of illness. It is argued that we still need analytic strategies that treat illness (or any) narratives as speech acts, based on socially shared resources.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Centre for Economic and Social Aspects of Genomics (CESAGen)
Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Narrative Analysis; Illness Narratives; Accounts; Speech Acts
Publisher: Sociological Research Online
ISSN: 1360-7804
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 03:15

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