Risk, reflexivity and an elusory body transformations in studying illness

  • Wheatley E
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Abstract

This article calls attention to how theory shapes ethnographic relations, practices, and "truths" about bodies and identities. While carrying out ethnographic research among men and women with heart disease, I experienced a "scare" for ovarian cancer, which interrupted the fieldwork, elicited revisions in research relations, and compelled me to see how my theoretic and purposive agendas had functioned as discourses that promoted and reinforced differences between research participants and me. My elusory body enabled me to recognize our fundamental similarities and alerted me to misguided turns I had taken in my research trajectory.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Body
  • Heart disease
  • Illness experience
  • Reflexivity
  • Risk

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Authors

  • Elizabeth E. Wheatley

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