Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Resistance, agency, and liminality in women's accounts of symptom appraisal and help-seeking upon discovery of a breast irregularity

Contents:

Author Info

  • Granek, Leeat
  • Fergus, Karen
Registered author(s):

    Abstract

    In the breast cancer literature, “delayed presentation” is defined as a period of 3 months or more between the self-detection of a new breast symptom and the decision to seek help for it. Delay studies have overlooked the relevance of dominant medical discourses such as those concerning “proper” health. In this paper we use a critical discursive method to analyze interviews with 14 women about their symptom appraisal process to demonstrate how many inhabited a liminal space comprised of both “knowing and not knowing” about the symptom, and “acting and not acting” on it (interviews took place from January 2006 to April 2007). We describe three discursive themes that arose in the transcripts including “Doing the Right Thing”, “Deliberate Ignorance”, and “Passive Resistance.” These women's narratives are juxtaposed with two commonly accepted medical discourses in relation to self-detected breast symptoms: That of the woman who was unaware of her symptom, or interpreted it as being insignificant, and therefore, not requiring medical attention; or that of the woman who noticed the symptom, interpreted it as threatening, and immediately sought medical attention. We suggest that such discourses are constricting and fail to account for the sizeable number of women who do not fit this mold (i.e., those who are both aware of the concerning change and delay presentation). We conclude that these constricting medical discourses effectively have a role to play in the contradictory reasoning or perceived irrationality of women's delay behavior when it occurs.

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277953612005576
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

    Volume (Year): 75 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 10 ()
    Pages: 1753-1761

    as in new window
    Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:75:y:2012:i:10:p:1753-1761

    Contact details of provider:
    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/315/description#description

    Order Information:
    Postal: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/supportfaq.cws_home/regional
    Web: http://www.elsevier.com/orderme/journalorderform.cws_home/315/journalorderform1/orderooc/id=654&ref=654_01_ooc_1&version=01

    Related research

    Keywords: Breast cancer; Symptom appraisal; Women; Discourse analysis; Qualitative research;

    References

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
    as in new window
    1. Willig, Carla, 2011. "Cancer diagnosis as discursive capture: Phenomenological repercussions of being positioned within dominant constructions of cancer," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 73(6), pages 897-903, September.
    2. Little, Miles & Jordens, Christopher FC & Paul, Kim & Montgomery, Kathleen & Philipson, Bertil, 1998. "Liminality: a major category of the experience of cancer illness," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 47(10), pages 1485-1494, November.
    3. Kaiser, Karen, 2008. "The meaning of the survivor identity for women with breast cancer," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 79-87, July.
    4. Thomas-MacLean, Roanne, 2004. "Understanding breast cancer stories via Frank's narrative types," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 58(9), pages 1647-1657, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Lists

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:75:y:2012:i:10:p:1753-1761. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.