Shifting narratives of the Self – students’ experiences of chronicity and multiplicity in the management of chronic illness at university

Spencer, Grace and Almack, Kathryn (2022) Shifting narratives of the Self – students’ experiences of chronicity and multiplicity in the management of chronic illness at university. Sociological Research Online. ISSN 1360-7804

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1177/13607804221078028

Abstract

Drawing on the chronic illness scholarship and identity theories, this article aims to deepen the understanding of the biographical disruptions experienced by undergraduate students living with a long-term health condition. Data are drawn from in-depth interviews with six undergraduate (female) students attending university in England. The analysis highlights the ways chronicity and multiplicity come together to shape students’ health and social identities. The findings reveal three narratives of the Self: the ill Self, the determined Self, and the authentic Self. These distinct, yet interconnected, narratives highlight the complex shifts in the Self as students sought ways to ‘push through’ multiple (academic, health, social) pressures. Maintaining academic and social engagement met with significant challenge, ultimately shaping the emotional and social lives of these students. The article offers a novel contribution to how undergraduate students navigate multiple identities in the face of ongoing illness.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Chronic health conditions, health identities, biographical disruption, students, university
Faculty: Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine & Social Care
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic User
Depositing User: Symplectic User
Date Deposited: 13 Dec 2021 14:17
Last Modified: 17 Mar 2022 15:01
URI: https://arro.anglia.ac.uk/id/eprint/707160

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