Troubling biographical disruption: narratives of unconcern about hepatitis C diagnosis.

Harris, M; (2009) Troubling biographical disruption: narratives of unconcern about hepatitis C diagnosis. Sociology of health & illness, 31 (7). pp. 1028-42. ISSN 0141-9889 DOI:

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This paper explores the impact of hepatitis C diagnosis among participants of a recent qualitative study based in New Zealand and Australia. The findings of this research were unique with regard to the small amount of existing literature on the topic. Whilst most social research indicates that diagnosis with hepatitis C is a disruptive or distressing experience, study participants were almost evenly divided between those who reported being distressed by diagnosis and those who described contracting hepatitis C as 'no big deal'. The varied nature of participants' narratives about their hepatitis C diagnosis indicates that the experience of biographical disruption is contextual: dependent upon previous experiences of illness, marginalisation or hardship, and the extent to which hepatitis C is an unknown entity or normalised within community networks. This paper draws on the theoretical frameworks of biographical disruption, normalisation and dys-appearance to illuminate these and other contextual issues informing participants' narratives of unconcern about hepatitis C diagnosis.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Public Health and Policy > Dept of Social and Environmental Health Research
PubMed ID: 19659739
Web of Science ID: 271043700006


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