Gender and the language of illness

Charteris-Black, J. and Seale, C. (2010) Gender and the language of illness. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 9780230222359 Available from:

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This book is based on interviews with people talking about their experiences of many different types of illness. Their use of language shows the influences of gender, social class and age and reveals conformity and resistance to gender stereotypes. Women are express negative feelings towards illness more confidently than men who are usually more hesitant about expressing a personal response. Women tend to see illness as an opportunity for self-transformation, while men often distance themselves from the experience by pretending it is happening to someone else. Women from a high social class are more critical of the health system and older women see themselves as authorities on illness and suffering. However, there is also resistance to stereotypes by higher class and younger men who redefine their gender identity by using ‘feminine’ language and by treating illness as an opportunity to develop a new dynamic sense of self.

Item Type:Book
Uncontrolled Keywords:gender, illness
Faculty/Department:Faculty of Arts, Creative Industries and Education > Department of Arts and Cultural Industries
Faculty of Arts, Creative Industries and Education
ID Code:12490
Deposited By: A. Lawson
Deposited On:28 Sep 2010 10:47
Last Modified:15 Nov 2016 20:39

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