The Cultural Construction of Risk Understandings through Illness Narratives
A study of breast cancer screening and treatment decisions suggests that risk understandings are influenced by the dominant illness narrative of restitution within Anglo-Western cultures. Restitution stories reflect the cultural values of personal responsibility and control in combating disease and returning to a life of normalcy. In the context of breast cancer, individuals seek restitution by following the dictums of biomedicine, which promotes early detection as prevention, aggressive treatment as cure, and reconstructive surgery as concealment. Our findings suggest that these risk understandings contribute to the consumption of health-care interventions that exceeds medical guidelines in this country. (c) 2008 by JOURNAL OF CONSUMER RESEARCH, Inc..
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