Risk and long-term conditions: the contradictions of self in society

Clarke, Charlotte (2009) Risk and long-term conditions: the contradictions of self in society. Health Risk & Society, 11 (4). pp. 297-302. ISSN 1369-8575

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13698570903045427

Abstract

This editorial draws together the key issues arising from five papers which form a special edition focusing on risk in long-term conditions. The papers address research on falls in older people (Fortinsky et al. 2009), alcohol-related brain damage (Keady et al. 2009), children with a disability (Oulton and Heyman 2009), women with endometriosis (Seear 2009) and survivorship in cancer (Roberts and Clarke 2009). These papers allow us an insight into the interplay between the individual's experiences, the services with which they interact, and the society they live in which shapes these experiences. Firstly, events which can be assumed to be catastrophic may be experienced as indeed threatening to the individual's biography but through processes such as searching for meaning there is the opportunity for reconciliation. These concepts of biography and reconciliation thread into the second issue in which risk has a dual positive and negative nature (as enhancing quality of life and as threatening safety). However, the dual nature of risk is in itself an inadequate understanding of an individual's experiences when living with the disabling effect of societies themselves, which can restrict choice and decision-making. As a result, the third issue concerns the contradictory way in which risk is used to promote safety but to also promote autonomy. This perpetual tension in the deployment of 'risk' fuels, and is reflexively fuelled by the fourth concern of this editorial; the contested and ever-changing location of responsibility and risk expertise. These dynamics of theory, policy and practice have a profound influence on the experiences of people, and demand further analysis if we are to better enable people to live positively with a long-term condition.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: chronic illness, biography, disability, quality of life, decision-making
Subjects: B900 Others in Subjects allied to Medicine
L300 Sociology
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > School of Health, Community and Education Studies > Nursing, Midwifery and Health
Depositing User: EPrint Services
Date Deposited: 04 Nov 2009 10:03
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2015 11:41
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/3107

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