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Narrative and the Cultural Construction of Illness and Healing

Cheryl Mattingly (Editor), Linda C. Garro (Editor)

Available worldwide

Paperback, 288 pages
ISBN: 9780520218253
March 2001
$31.95, £25.00
Inspired by the possibilities of narrative, the essays in this direction-setting volume present stories drawn from a range of ethnographic contexts. Stories of illness and healing are often arresting in their power, and they can illuminate aspects of practices and experiences surrounding illness that might otherwise be neglected. Recognizing the value of increased theoretical consciousness among those eliciting and analyzing narratives, these contributors explore narrative from a variety of perspectives.


1. Narrative as Construct and as Construction: An Introduction
Linda C. Garro and Cheryl Mattingly

2. "Fiction" and "Historicity" in Doctors’ Stories: Social and Narrative Dimensions of Learning Medicine
Byron J. Good and Mary-Jo DelVecchio Good

3. Cultural Knowledge as Resource in Illness Narratives: Remembering through Accounts of Illness
Linda C. Garro

4. Strategic Suffering: Illness Narratives as Social Empowerment among Mexican Cancer Patients
Linda M. Hunt

5. Physician Autobiography: Narrative and the Social History of Medicine
Donald Pollock

6. "Even If We Don’t Have Children [We] Can Live": Stigma and Infertility in South India
Catherine Kohler Riessman

7. Broken Narratives: Clinical Encounters and the Poetics of Illness Experience
Laurence J. Kirmayer

8. Emergent Narratives
Cheryl Mattingly

9. With Life in One’s Lap: The Story of an Eye/I (or Two)
Unni Wikan

10. Psychotherapy in Clients’ Trajectories across Contexts
Ole Dreier

11. Narrative Turns
Linda C. Garro and Cheryl Mattingly

Cheryl Mattingly is Professor in the Department of Anthropology and the Department of Occupational Science at the University of Southern California. She has published extensively on narrative and received the Polgar Prize from the Society for Medical Anthropology in 1999. Her most recent book is Healing Dramas and Clinical Plots (1998). Linda C. Garro is Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Los Angeles. Recipient of the Stirling Award from the Society for Psychological Anthropology in 1999, she has published widely in medical, cognitive, and psychological anthropology.
"A valuable collection. . . . The essays in the volume are all fresh, the result of recent work, and the opening chapter by Garro and Mattingly places the current trend in narrative analysis in historical context, explaining its diverse origins (and constructs) in a range of disciplines."—Shirley Lindenbaum, author of Kuru Sorcery

"A good place to consult the narrative turn in medical anthropology. Thick with the richness and diversity and stubborn resistance to interpretations of human stories of illness. An anthropological antidote for too narrow a framing of the complex tangle of ways-of-being and ways-of-telling that make medicine a space of indelibly human experiences." —Arthur Kleinman, author of The Illness Narratives

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