IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Illness narratives: time, hope and HIV

Listed author(s):
  • Ezzy, Douglas
Registered author(s):

    Life threatening illness, such as HIV/AIDS, also threaten people's sense of identity and taken-for-granted assumptions about the temporal framing of their lives. In response, people often experience transformations in values, spirituality and life priorities. Drawing on a combined quantitative and qualitative study of people living with HIV/AIDS in Australia, three different narratives that people use to make sense of their illness experience are identified: linear restitution narratives, linear chaotic narratives and polyphonic narratives. Linear illness narratives colonise the future, assuming that the future can be controlled through human action. They emphasise a faith in medical science, tend to be secular and self-centred and assume the end of life to be in the distant future. Hope is focused on concrete outcomes such as improved health or material possessions. Linear narratives can be either restitutive or chaotic. Restitutive linear narratives anticipate a life that will mirror the narrative. Chaotic linear narratives anticipate a life that will fail to meet the linear ideal resulting in despair and depression. In contrast, polyphonic illness narratives are oriented toward the present, emphasising the unpredictability of the future. These narratives tend to include spiritual experiences, a communally oriented value system, and to recount increased self-understanding and the gaining of new insights as a consequence of their illness. Hope in polyphonic narratives is more abstract and focused on a celebration of mystery, surprise and creativity.

    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/S0277-9536(99)00306-8
    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.

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

    Volume (Year): 50 (2000)
    Issue (Month): 5 (March)
    Pages: 605-617

    as
    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:50:y:2000:i:5:p:605-617
    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

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

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

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:50:y:2000:i:5:p:605-617. 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.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.