Contribution to Book
An important, and often neglected, aspect of the illness experience is meaning—that is, how affected persons make sense of their experiences. Responses to illness, coping strategies, and the healing process itself are all shaped by the meanings people apply to their illnesses. This chapter examines some of the nonmedical approaches to illness used by middle-class suburbanites in order to highlight the importance of meaning in all illness experiences. The particular interpretations applied in these alter-. native healing systems vary, but the way these interpretive frameworks shape the illness experience sheds light on the broader significance of meaning in health, illness, and healing.
Julius A. Roth, Peter Conrad
McGuire, M. B., & Kantor, D. J. (1987). Belief systems and illness experiences: The case of non-medical healing groups. In J. A. Roth & P. Conrad (Vol. Eds.), Research in the Sociology of Health Care: Vol. 6. The experience and management of chronic illness (pp. 221-248). Greenwich, CT: Jai Press.
Research in the Sociology of Health Care