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Title: Family practices during life-threatening illness : exploring the everyday
Author: Ellis, Julie Carmel
ISNI:       0000 0004 2706 6851
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2010
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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 dayto- 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.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Dying, Family life, Ill health, Daily lives, Hospices