Self-Reflection as a Means for Personal Transformation: An Analysis of Women's Life Stories Living with a Chronic Disease

Birgit Prodinger, Tanja Alexandra Stamm


The aim of this secondary analysis is to explicate taken-for-granted practices in the health care system in which the life stories of six women with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are embedded. A secondary analysis of life stories of six women with RA, which were assigned to a typology named "rheumatoid arthritis as a source for new challenges" (STAMM et al., 2008) in the primary narrative study, was conducted. The theoretical framework applied for the analysis was informed by feminist standpoint theory and feminist philosophy. In the present analysis, each of the women challenged established health care practices and the cognitive authority of medicine at a certain point in their life story reflections. Becoming more conscious about health care practices enabled the women to acknowledge their own knowledge and to make choices about their health. The findings challenge health care providers to engage in critical reflexivity to become conscious about and to transform taken-for-granted practices as embedded in larger systems and to create health care environments that enable dialogue between clients and health care providers.
URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs100363


secondary analysis; narratives; feminist critiques on health care; standpoint theory; gender; rheumatoid arthritis

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Copyright (c) 2010 Birgit Prodinger, Tanja Alexandra Stamm

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