Art tickle

A couple of posts ago I mentioned that one of the delightful writing processes occupying my time was a collaborative health sociology journal article with my old colleague and friend, Karen Willis. It has now been published* and is available for your reading pleasure via this link (free until early September):

We discuss:

  • how I became a health sociologist and my diagnosis with MND;
  • sociological work on meaning making and how reading and ideas such as ‘biographical disruption’ and the (Covid-19-friendly) ‘new normal’ have helped me make sense of my diagnosis;
  • connections between my research and my experience, and specially how our work on ‘health care capital’ has enabled me to think about the unequally distributed and variable shittiness of dealing with MND;
  • the way communication skills, empathy and patience complement clinical expertise in good health professionals and carers;
  • the importance of communications technology in remaining a social being and of advocacy and support organisations for people with MND;
  • the intended and unintended consequences of language and why I prefer to think of myself as an MND activist-pacifist (or passive activist) than an MND warrior;
  • the ways in which a diagnosis like MND foregrounds and shifts our relationship with time; and
  • in conclusion, some brief, suggestive thoughts about parallels between having MND and the collective experience of Covid-19.

* the formal deets:

Kirsten Harley and Karen Willis (2020) Living with motor neurone disease: an insider’s sociological perspective, Health Sociology Review 29(2): 211-25, DOI: 10.1080/14461242.2020.1789487

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