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'If I can walk that far': space and embodiment in stories of illness and recovery

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JournalSociology of Health and Illness
DateAccepted/In press - 7 Feb 2018
DateE-pub ahead of print (current) - 17 May 2018
Number of pages14
Pages (from-to)1-14
Early online date17/05/18
Original languageEnglish


Illness and recovery transform embodied experience, and transform the
experience of space. Space, in turn, is a valuable resource in the telling of
an illness narrative. Starting from a phenomenological perspective that
takes the body to be the centre of experience, and hence of selfhood and
storytelling, this paper offers an argument for and an approach to
analysing space as a narrative resource in stories about illness and
recovery. Using a case study of one woman’s stories about her amputation,
it demonstrates how both narrated space and narrating space can be used
as devices to structure the narrative and position its characters and
interlocutors to construct the narrator’s embodied experiences and
identities. The paper reveals intersections between embodied experience,
space, and narrative identity construction, offering a new way of attending
to illness narratives and a new way of engaging with narrative space.

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© 2018 Foundation for the Sociology of Health & Illness. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details.

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