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Family practices during life-threatening illness : exploring the everyday.

Ellis, Julie Carmel (2010) Family practices during life-threatening illness : exploring the everyday. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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This thesis explores the experiences of individuals living in a family where a member is dying or has a life-threatening illness. It focuses in particular upon how families are actively produced in the everyday `doing' of day-to-day family life (Morgan, 1996) in circumstances of severe ill-health and when facing death. Using an ethnographic approach combining informal, in-depth interviews with 9 families and participant observation on a hospice ward, the research provides insight into how families experience themselves as family in the `here-and-now' of their daily lives. It will be argued that in both popular culture and theoretical work there is a pervasive tendency to associate death with crisis and that the more ordinary, everyday and mundane aspects of dying experiences are less well understood. Therefore, the analysis of family lives presented here moves away from the more familiar model of emotional crisis and rupture in relation to severe ill-health and dying, to ask new questions about the `everydayness' of people's feelings and experiences during this time. A more nuanced picture of living with life-threatening illness and dying is provided as the data chapters explore the everyday and mundane in relation to families' experiences. Analysing empirical data about various aspects of day-to-day life - including eating practices, spatial dynamics and material objects - the thesis shows how ill-health and dying are not discrete ontological experiences existing outside and separate from everyday life. Rather, in paying attention to the `doing' of being a family day-to-day, this research brings more squarely into view, the everyday as a lived experience (Felski, 1999) within which families come to `know' their experiences of illness and dying.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Dying, Family life, Ill health, Daily lives, Hospices
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > Sociological Studies (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.538102
Depositing User: EThOS Import Sheffield
Date Deposited: 23 May 2016 11:19
Last Modified: 30 Sep 2019 00:18
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/12814

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