‘I’d forgotten about me in all of this’: Discourses of self-healing, positivity and vulnerability in cancer patients’ experiences of complementary and alternative medicine

Broom, Alex (2009) ‘I’d forgotten about me in all of this’: Discourses of self-healing, positivity and vulnerability in cancer patients’ experiences of complementary and alternative medicine. Journal of Sociology, 45 1: 71-87. doi:10.1177/1440783308099987

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Author Broom, Alex
Title ‘I’d forgotten about me in all of this’: Discourses of self-healing, positivity and vulnerability in cancer patients’ experiences of complementary and alternative medicine
Journal name Journal of Sociology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1440-7833
1741-2978
Publication date 2009-03
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1177/1440783308099987
Open Access Status
Volume 45
Issue 1
Start page 71
End page 87
Total pages 17
Place of publication London, Vic., United Kingdom
Publisher Sage Publications
Language eng
Abstract Drawing on in-depth interviews with Australian cancer patients, this article examines their experiences of utilizing complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) within disease and treatment processes. Results illustrate the complex and often contradictory roles played by CAM within patients' therapeutic trajectories. On the one hand, their accounts illustrate the liberating and positive impacts of CAM engagement, including perceived increases in feelings of control, power and individual autonomy within therapeutic processes. However, the interviews also revealed problematic notions of self-healing and hyper-positivity engendered in much CAM practice, involving the imposition of restrictive notions of self-discipline on these cancer patients. On the basis of the results it is argued that CAM sociology must refocus on the grassroots experiences of different patient groups, rather than grandiose notions of wider socio-cultural shifts in therapeutic practice. © 2009 The Australian Sociological Association.
Keyword Australia
Cancer
Complementary and alternative medicine
Qualitative
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Social Science Publications
 
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 8 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 9 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Mon, 04 Jul 2011, 16:45:31 EST by Associate Professor Alexander Broom on behalf of School of Social Science