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Researching the disabled identity: contextualising the identity transformations which accompany the onset of impairment

Galvin, R.D. (2005) Researching the disabled identity: contextualising the identity transformations which accompany the onset of impairment. Sociology of Health and Illness, 27 (3). pp. 393-413.

Link to Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9566.2005.00448.x
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Abstract

This paper outlines a recent study which, in an attempt to illuminate the processes surrounding the formation of what is increasingly being referred to as 'the disabled identity', set out to explore the effects of the onset and ongoing experience of impairment in relation to disabled people's self-perceptions. A grounded theory approach was adopted and the data derived from the stories of 92 people from four countries, through telephone dialogues and autobiographical material which sought to answer, or, in the case of unsolicited material, could be said to have answered, the question: How has [the illness or disabling condition] affected the ways in which you see yourself and how others treat you? The major areas of identity which were found to be affected by disability were those which related to independence, work and appearance/sexuality, all of which were heavily influenced by the negative attitudes of others and each of which were related to qualities which could be argued to represent the pivotal characteristics separating the 'affiliated and the marginalised' in contemporary Western society (Rose 1996: 340).

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Social Inquiry
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing Inc.
Copyright: © Blackwell Publishing Ltd/Editorial Board 2005.
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/16335
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