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Discovering a new identity after brain injury
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Discovering a new identity after brain injury

Author: Laura S Lorenz
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing
Edition/Format: Article Article : English
Publication:Sociology of Health and Illness, 32, no. 6 (2010): 862-879
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Document Type: Article
All Authors / Contributors: Laura S Lorenz
Language Note: English
Unique Identifier: 666863612


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    schema:about <> ; # narrative analysis methods
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    schema:about <> ; # lived experience
    schema:about <> ; # brain injury
    schema:about <> ; # visual illness narrative
    schema:creator <> ; # Laura S. Lorenz
    schema:datePublished "2010-09-01" ;
    schema:description "Acquired brain injury (ABI) is one example of the chronic conditions that people of varying socioeconomic status must bear. Concerns with identity and self are endemic to surviving brain injury. For this study, a brain tumour survivor injured 17 years earlier, took photographs of her life with brain injury and discussed them with other brain injury survivors and the author. Narrative analysis methods were used to analyse her photographs and interview, and generate a visual illness narrative with four photographs and their accompanying interview text. Her visual illness narrative reveals discovery of a post-brain injury identity whose multiplicity of self-definitions includes chef, brain injury survivor, gardener, and self-advocate. Study findings reveal that identity issues of importance to brain injury survivors can include (1) learning the new, post-brain injury self, and (2) building a new identity whose multiple, partial identities include (a) the new brain injured self, (b) an old self (with its residual strengths), and (c) a self who does meaningful activities (e.g. parenting, partnering, art, gardening, volunteering, helping others, or paid work). Study results suggest that using visual research methods can help to put biographical disruption such as brain injury into perspective as a life lived." ;
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