Storied Health and Illness: Communicating Personal, Cultural, and Political Complexities

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Health and illness are storied experiences that necessarily entail personal, cultural, and political complexities. For all of us, communicating about health and illness requires a continuous negotiation of these complexities and a delicate balance between what we learn about the biology of disease from providers and our own very personal, subjective experiences of being ill.

Storied Health and Illness brings together dozens of noteworthy scholars, both established and emerging, in a provocative collection that embraces narrative ways of knowing to think about, analyze, and reconsider our own and others’ health beliefs, behaviors, and communication. Comprehensive content reflects the editors’ substantial research in integrative health, narrative care, and innovative ways of improving well-being and quality of life in personal relationships, healthcare, the workplace, and community settings.

Unique narrative approaches to the study of health communication include:

• 14 chapters written by 22 contributors who use engaging stories from their own research or personal experience to introduce and ground foundational communication concepts in healthcare, health promotion, community support, organizational wellness, and other health-related sites of interest.

• Compelling stories of individuals living with the inherent challenges and unexpected opportunities of mental illness, addiction, aging, cancer, dialysis, sexual harassment, miscarriage, obesity, alopecia, breastfeeding, health threats to immigrant workers, developmental differences, and youth gun violence.

• 36 Health Communication in Action (HCIA) sidebars that highlight applied research of innovative health communication scholars in their own words and then prompt readers to think more deeply about their own perspectives and experiences.

• Theorizing Practice boxes that encourage readers to reflect on stories that describe significant experiences in their own and others’ lives as they consider assumptions and enlarge their viewpoints in previously unimagined ways.


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Chapter 1 Communicating the Complexities of Health and Illness Yamasaki
Chapter 2 Communicating Health through Narratives Sharf
Chapter 3 Communicating in PatientProvider Relationships Dean
Chapter 4 Communicating Healthcare Teamwork Ellingson Borofka
Chapter 5 Communicating and Navigating Digitized Healthcare Mingé Defenbaugh
Chapter 6 Communicating Health and Healing through Art Harter Broderick Okamoto Crawford Parsloe
Chapter 7 Communicating Workplace Wellness as Flourishing GeistMartin Scarduzio
Chapter 8 Communicating Stigma and Acceptance Davis Quinlan
Chapter 9 Communicating through Health Challenges Foster
Chapter 10 Communicating Health and Connection in Supportive Communities Yamasaki
Chapter 11 Communicating through Health Campaigns and EntertainmentEducation Foss
Chapter 12 Communicating the Politics of Healthcare Systems Zoller Sastry
Chapter 13 Communicating the CultureCentered Approach to Health Disparities Dutta Kaur
Linking Complexities GeistMartin
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