Multiple voices and stories : narratives of Health and illness

Mishra, Arima and Chatterjee, Suhita Chopra, eds. (2013) Multiple voices and stories : narratives of Health and illness. Orient BlackSwan, New Delhi. ISBN 9788125053798

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In the field of medical sociology/anthropology, narratives of patients are widely used as an approach to understand social reality and lived experiences. As a theoretical and methodological entry point, they contribute towards defining the scope of discipline, point out the limitations of the ‘positivist language’ of biomedicine, and highlight the role of culture and society in understanding health, illness and suffering in everyday lives. Inspired by the ‘possibilities of narratives,’ Multiple Voices and Stories is a collection of essays on the narratives of health which goes beyond the patients and their immediate families to include midwives, traditional healers, complementary and alternative medical practitioners, health workers, to name a few. The essays are arranged thematically. The first section captures the voices of the care-providers and healers in different settings. The second section narrates the voices of the self in providing accounts of doing health—whether curing an illness episode, living with a chronic illness or engaging in everyday practices of health. The third section goes further by offering two contrasting examples on mental health narratives by showing where and why a narrative approach to medicine works or does not work. The volume also raises important questions like: What functions do these narratives perform? Do they generate evidence? If yes, what kind of evidence? How does such evidence provide an ‘alternative’ to the evidence in biomedicine? Where do narratives stand in the practices of evidence-based medicine and public health? Bringing together essays by well-known scholars, this volume is an indispensable read for students and scholars of medical sociology/anthropology, sociology / anthropology of health and illness, public health, narrative theory, social work and nursing studies.

Item Type: Book
Uncontrolled Keywords: Health, Narrative medicine, Chronic diseases, India
Subjects: Technology > Medicine & health
Divisions: Azim Premji University > School of Development
Full Text Status: Public
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