Long-Term Experiences of Men with Spinal Cord Injuries in Japan: A Qualitative Study

Masakuni Tagaki


The goal of the current study was to examine how Japanese men with long-term spinal cord injuries constructed their post-injury life. To do this, I conducted semi-structured interviews with ten participants who had sustained spinal cord injuries. The interview data was transcribed and analyzed qualitatively using the KJ method, which is widely employed in Japan and has been developed by and named after the founder of the method, the anthropologist Jiro KAWAKITA (1967). The participants led lives similar to able-bodied individuals and tried to find specific positive aspects of their lives that they owed to their disabilities. They also developed collective identities as people with acquired disabilities through their relationships with others having disabilities. To alleviate their sense of loss, the participants also emphasized the unchanged aspects of their pre-injury lives. They understood that their lives were greatly influenced by a socially supportive environment that was regarded as being contingent. They recognized their inability to control the environment and valued the contingencies.

URN: http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs150210


spinal cord injury; life course; narrative; Japan; KJ method; narrative analysis; interviews

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17169/fqs-16.2.2148

Copyright (c) 2015 Masakuni Tagaki

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