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Grue-lling stuff (psychosomatic article)

Scarecrow

Revolting Peasant
Messages
1,904
Location
Scotland
Abstract
The concept of careers has an extensive history in the sociology of health and illness. Among other things, the notion of a career has been used to describe the changing identities of patients diagnosed with mental illness, to identify distinct stages in the progression of various illnesses, and to recognize the cooperative efforts of hospitalized patients. However, the career concept may be reanalyzed as part of an analytical metaphor that makes salient both the agency of people with illnesses and the social structures in which they are enmeshed. This metaphor, ILLNESS IS WORK, can valorize and aid understanding of the identity work and actions of patients with chronic illnesses, particularly illnesses with a low degree of social recognition and medical prestige such as myalgic encephalopathy and chronic fatigue syndrome.

Sociology is completely unfamiliar stuff to me. It's easy to take offense at the language used (I don't like it either) but I think this will turn out to be a sympathetic article.
 

jimells

Senior Member
Messages
2,009
Location
northern Maine
I read the abstract four times and I *still* can't even make out whether this is actual research, a review article, or a hypothesis. It just seems like socio-babble - perhaps something got lost in translation from Norwegian?

I have thought more than once that having this awful illness is a full-time job with no vacation from poverty or holidays from pain. But I don't have a need to have a "career" to feel good about myself (or not), and I never have. Is that unusual?

Being a wage-slave is about having food and shelter while trying to evade the noose of debt. If I want to improve my self-esteem, I'll work on my music (if I still could). If sociologists want to help us, access to the necessities of life would be a good start.
 

mfairma

Senior Member
Messages
205
This isn't necessarily negative. It appears to be an attempt to reframe popular understanding of illness away from traditional pejoratives by equating living with illness to work, or that's how I read it. It is more than a bit ambiguous and unclear in language. If that reading is accurate, it could produce some positives along several different axes. That said, I agree with @jimells, things that have tangible value tend to matter more when you're starving . . .
 

mfairma

Senior Member
Messages
205
Yes, my reading was probably too optimistic. I looked up some of his other work (http://uio.academia.edu/JanGrue) and it seems to be coming from a place of questioning ME as being a real illness, positioning it as a disease that has been part of broadening definitions of what disability even means. Regardless, reading his work is like pulling teeth. He needs to figure out more what he is trying to say and say it.
 

Denise

Senior Member
Messages
1,095
Thanks @mfairma for the link to his other work. His other work helps clarify his position (re ME) with this paper.

He seems to use more words that are really necessary for the number of ideas he is writing about.

And I appreciate knowing about this site as a resource.
 
Messages
3,263
Time to bring in our simple guide to evaluating articles:
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What quadrant might we place this article in... hmmm....