Identity and Health

Identity and Health

Identity and Health

Identity and Health

Synopsis

Experiences of health and illness are fundamental to how we understand ourselves, and the postmodern obsession with body image has made health even more significant in identity formation. This title is a study of subjective experiences of health and illness.

Excerpt

This chapter examines the concept of identity with particular reference to illness. in sociological terms, identity relates to a host of criteria that are called in to play in interaction when assessing oneself and others. It is multifaceted and has been described in relation to almost every aspect of knowing about oneself and others. Sociologically, identity is understood through visible aspects of the person and all the various points of reference that these might entail, such as skin colour, height, weight, attractiveness, blemishes, deportment, accent and dress attire, for example. It is also understood in relation to abstract ideas, like those that designate communal arrangements, such as status, roles and an almost endless number of group affiliations, such as gender, religion and culture. Conceptually, the term 'identity' consists of two essential types: one regarding others and the assessment of others and one regarding self and the assessment of self. To distinguish these forms the terms 'social or public identity' and 'personal identity or self are often used.

The development and definition of the concept of identity

It is undoubtedly the case that the idea of identity has exerted a very significant influence on the sociological study of illness and especially chronic disease. By and large, writers dealing with identity have worked within a micro-sociological framework with a focus on interaction. Identity has become a dominant motif within certain strands of medical sociology, especially in Britain. in particular, the study of illness and identity has come to represent an approach to the analysis of ill health in which writers have sought to present the 'authentic' experience of sufferers and give voice to that experience. Because of a commitment to authenticity, phenomenologically and subjectively informed methodologies have been pre-eminent. There is a very rich vein of material dealing with a variety of diseases such as

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.