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A constellation of misfortune: Narrative accounts of adverse life events, chronic illness, and subjective social status

Daker-White, G and Sanders, C and Blickem, C and Cheraghi-Sohi, S and Rogers, A and Vassliev, I (2014) A constellation of misfortune: Narrative accounts of adverse life events, chronic illness, and subjective social status. SAGE Open, 4 (4). pp. 1-10. ISSN 2158-2440

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Abstract

Quantitative studies have drawn attention to the patterning of health inequalities in relation to subjective social status (SSS). There is currently little insight into the complexities of the social and biographical aspects that lie behind these findings. Narrative accounts were gathered in a mixed-methods study involving a population of people with coronary heart disease (CHD) and/or diabetes in a region of the United Kingdom with above average levels of socio-economic deprivation. The aim of this secondary qualitative analysis was to examine the accounts of interviewees with low socio-economic status (SES) who ranked themselves either low or high in terms of SSS. The results highlight the multiplicity of adverse circumstances leading to subjective assessments of low SSS. Loss of employment status contributed more to a feeling of being “at the bottom of the ladder” than the symptoms of chronic illness did, perhaps because having somewhere to go is central to the accrual of social, economic, and cultural capital. The narratives of those who ranked themselves highly (in spite of low SES) appeared to have more family and community connections. The findings contribute to theories of socio-economic biographies or trajectories, subjective social status, and engagement with the self-management aspects of chronic illness.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Divisions: Public Health Institute
Publisher: Sage
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2016 14:14
Last Modified: 18 Feb 2016 14:14
DOI or Identification number: 10.1177/2158244014558041
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/2951

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