The conceptualization of meaning in illness
The focus of this paper is the development of a conceptualization of meaning within the context of serious illness. It is based on a symbolic interactionist perspective, with the significance of the concept of meaning for the process of adaptation being a primary point of discussion. Meaning, as it is defined here, refers to the perceived nature of the relationship between the individual and his/her world that is developed within the context of specific events. It is comprised of two inextricably linked dimensions: meaning that pertains to one's identity and how that is affected by the event of the illness, and meaning which pertains to perceived characteristics of the event and to the social circumstances that surround it. Interviews with 38 persons living with the stress of cancer provide qualitative data that illustrate the concept as it is set forth in this paper. Four specific domains relevant to symbolic interactionism were explored in these interviews: (1) the individual's response to the illness; (2) changes that occurred relative to identify as a consequence of the illness; (3) the impact of cancer on the individual's relationship to the social world; (4) anticipated effects of the illness on the individual's future. Clinical implications of specific aspects of meaning are discussed.
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.
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.
Volume (Year): 38 (1994)
Issue (Month): 2 (January)
|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|
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:38:y:1994:i:2:p:309-316. 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: (Dana Niculescu)
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.