An attempt to stimulate discussion and debate, Dissonant Disabilities emphasizes that analyses of disability must take gender into account.
This much-needed collection of original articles invites the reader to examine the key issues in the lives of women with chronic illnesses. The authors explore how society reacts to women with chronic illness and how women living with chronic illness cope with the uncertainty of their bodies in a society that desires certainty. Additionally, issues surrounding women with chronic illness in the workplace and the impact of chronic illness on women's relationships are sensitively considered.
Distinct from books on this topic that adopt a medical or self-help perspective, this collection invites the reader to examine key issues in the lives of women with chronic illnesses, including shame, blame, and power imbalances in family, work, and education. The authors explore how society reacts to women with chronic illnesses and how these women cope with the uncertainty of their bodies in a society that desires certainty. This text continues to be popular for courses in disability studies, women’s studies, and sociology of health and gender.
Part One: Clashing Expectations Water Wearing on a Stone: The Role of Shame in the Social Construction of Chronic Illnesses – Charlotte Caron
The Complexities of Negotiating Power under Conditions of Chronic Illness – Mary Delaney and Sandra Bell
Crazy Talk: A Dialogue between Two Young Women about Depression – Mandy Fraser and Jennifer Matwee
The Social Construction of Doubt: Women’s Accounts of Uncertainty and Chronic Illness – Sheilagh Grills and Scott Grills
Part Two: Unpredictable Bodies The Emergence of Body Image Dissatisfaction among Women in Singapore – Maho Isono
What’s Eating You? A Feminist’s Chronic Struggle with Anorexic Identity – Morgan Gresham
Listening to the Body: Women with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, and Multiple Chemical Sensitivities Talk about Illness and the Body – Debra A. Swoboda
This Is Not Going to Control My Life: Young and Living with Fibromyalgia – Amy Chow
Part Three: Disturbing Work The Personal is Pedagogical/The Pedagogical is Personal – Ruth Roach Pierson
There Always Seems to Be Excuses: A Grad Student’s Narrative of Autoimmunity – Julie Devaney
A Delicate Balance: Chronic Conditions and Workspace – Nancy E. Hensen
Part Four: Shifting Relationships Chronic Non-malignant Pain: A Queer Woman’s Journey through Relationships and Healing – Corinne Stevens
Working Together: Women with Musculoskeletal Illnesses Interacting with Health Care Providers – S. Michelle Driedger, Carrie Sanders, Cindy Gallois, Maree Boyle, and Nancy Santesso
Circle of Care: Transitioning through One Woman’s Experience of Breast Cancer – Barbara A. Brown
Part Five: Traversing Dissonance Recovery and Power: Living with Bipolar Disorder – J. Karen Reynolds
Living Well (with Cancer): Lessons Learned from Dragon-Boat Racers – Terry L. Mitchell, Franci Finkelstein, Eleanor Nielsen, and Christina Yakiwchuk
Signalling Invisibility, Risking Careers? Caucusing as an SOS – Katherine Teghtsoonian and Pamela Moss
Notes from Bed: Learning from Chronic Illness – Susan Wendell
Suggested Web Sites for Further Information
Diane Driedger is an Assistant Professor in the Interdisciplinary Master’s Program in Disability Studies at the University of Manitoba.
Michelle Owen is Associate Professor of Gender Studies and Coordinator of Disability Studies at the University of Winnipeg. Her primary teaching and research interests and publications are focused on gender, sexuality, family, chronic illness, and disability.
"This is a strong and much-needed collection about issues that are significant in the lives of women living with chronic illnesses. I like the inclusion of physical, cognitive, visible, invisible, and contested illnesses."
Sharon Dale Stone, Department of Sociology, Lakehead University
"This collection addresses an under-researched and under-theorized academic topic, combining the perspectives of critical disability tudies and feminist studies. Most importantly, it does so from the perspective of women who themselves live with chronic illness. The scholarship is sound and well-researched, but also adds an important dimension of personal experience that underlines the value of critical identity politics."
Pauline Greenhill, Women’s and Gender Studies, University of Winnipeg
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