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Narrative and the Cultural Construction of Illness and Healing$
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Cheryl Mattingly and Linda Garro

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780520218246

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520218246.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 26 June 2022

Strategic Suffering

Strategic Suffering

Illness Narratives as Social Empowerment among Mexican Cancer Patients

(p.88) Four Strategic Suffering
Narrative and the Cultural Construction of Illness and Healing

Cheryl Mattingly

Linda C. Garro

University of California Press

This chapter views illness narratives as guides to present and future actions, specifically through the refashioning of social roles in local cultural worlds. It draws on fieldwork with Mexican cancer patients and studies the illness narratives of two Mexican cancer patients who have had surgery where part of their reproductive systems were removed. This chapter connects the strategic construction of illness narratives with the reconstruction of gender roles, a process that effectively transformed suffering into a social asset, and role destruction into a chance for personal empowerment.

Keywords:   illness narratives, social roles, Mexican cancer patients, gender roles, reconstruction, suffering, social asset, role destruction, personal empowerment

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