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dc.contributor.advisorDe Wet, Katinka
dc.contributor.authorHeggenstaller, Alessandra Kim
dc.contributor.otherCoetzee, Jan K.
dc.date.accessioned2015-08-20T07:30:37Z
dc.date.available2015-08-20T07:30:37Z
dc.date.issued2013-07
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/11660/987
dc.description.abstractEnglish: It is commonly thought that breast cancer, like many other cancers, is an illness equivalent to a death sentence. Though this may be true in some cases, the majority of women diagnosed with breast cancer do survive this illness. Breast cancer is a growing illness and consequently is continuing to affect women worldwide, including in developing countries like South Africa. In this dissertation, I look at how eight middle-class South African women experience their breast cancer diagnosis and the subsequent treatment. I aim to understand how each participant re-negotiates and transforms her self-perception, her “identity” and issues around femininity. I am also interested in seeing how the prolonged and intense medical encounter is experienced, as well as how this encounter influences the individual in her renegotiation and transformation of “identity” and femininity. Social constructivist, social existentialist, and phenomenological approaches are combined to highlight the rich experiences of the collected narratives. These narratives are aimed at gaining a deeper insight into what a breast cancer diagnosis and its concomitant treatment entail. The main method for collecting the experiences of the research participants is in-depth interviews. The interview schedules were designed to prompt the individual to expand on relevant topics for the study. When working through a topic, most participants broadened their narratives by going deeper into their personal experiences and unique understanding by revealing more personal thoughts of their breast cancer journey. This in turn, led the narrative analysis to produce themes such as the role of religion, femininity and gender, surviving and support, maintaining normality and the medical experience. It is also evident that these eight women have access to state-of-the-art medical treatment, given their adherence to private medical insurance schemes. This reflects a very specific experience, very similar to accounts in existing literature of women in firstworld countries who undergo a similar diagnosis and treatment. Each research participant elaborates on the self-understanding of her illness which reflects either an optimistic or pessimistic attitude in as far as her self-concept and self-image is concerned. The participants’ self-understanding and attitude (optimistic or pessimistic) are found to be closely linked to the level of support that they have access to, as well as to their religious beliefs, outlooks and understandings. This is reflected in how the illness is accepted and also in their current outlook towards future prospects. This study aims at humanising the illness of breast cancer through listening to the personal accounts of individuals who have had to experience the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. Within these personal illness narratives, I aim to expand our understanding of this illness and the experience of those who were diagnosed and treated for it.en_ZA
dc.description.abstractAfrikaans: Dit word oor die algemeen aanvaar dat borskanker, soos baie ander vorme van kanker soortgelyk is aan ‘n doodsvonnis. Alhoewel dit in sommige gevalle waar mag wees, oorleef die meerderheid van vrouens wat met borskanker gediagnoseer is. Die omvang van borskanker neem toe en gevolglik beïnvloed dit vrouens wêreldwyd, insluitend in ontwikkelende lande soos Suid-Afrika. In hierdie verhandeling kyk ek na hoe agt middelklas Suid-Afrikaanse vroue hul borskanker diagnose en die daaropvolgende behandeling ervaar. Ek poog om te verstaan hoe elke deelnemer haar self-persepsie, ‘identiteit’ en kwessies rondom vroulikheid heronderhandel en transformeer as gevolg van die diagnose en behandeling van borskanker. Ek is ook geïnteresseerd om te bepaal hoe die langdurige en intense mediese interaksie ervaar word, asook hoe hierdie interaksie die individu beïnvloed in haar heronderhandeling en transformasie van kwessies rondom ‘identiteit’ en vroulikheid. Sosiale konstruktivisme, sosiale eksistensialisme en ‘n fenomenologiese benadering word gekombineer om die ryk ervaring van die versamelde vertellings na vore te bring. Hierdie verhale is gemik op die verkryging van ‘n dieper insig in wat ‘n borskanker diagnose en die gepaardgaande behandeling behels. Die vernaamste metode vir die insameling van die ervarings van die deelnemers is in-diepte onderhoude. Die onderhoudskedule is ontwerp om die individu toe te laat om uit te brei oor relevante onderwerpe vir die doeleindes van die studie. Gedurende die onderhoude, het meeste deelnemers hul vertelling verbreed deur dieper in hul persoonlike ervarings te gaan en hul unieke begrip bloot gestel deur die onthulling van meer persoonlike gedagtes oor hul borskanker ervarings. Dit het dus daartoe gelei dat die narratiewe analise met die volgende temas voorendag gekom het: die rol van godsdiens; vroulikheid en geslag; oorlewing en ondersteuning; die handhawing van normaliteit; en die mediese ervaring. Dit is ook duidelik dat hierdie agt vroue toegang het tot top gehalte mediese behandeling gegewe dat hulle almal behoort aan private mediese versekeringskemas. Dit weerspieël 'n baie spesifieke ervaring, soortgelyk aan voorbeelde in bestaande literatuur van vroue in eerstewêreld lande wat soortgelyke diagnose en behandelings ondergaan. Elke deelnemer brei uit op haar unieke begrip van haar siekte wat of ‘n optimistiese of ‘n pessimistiese houding weerspieël met betrekking tot haar self-konsep en selfbeeld. Die deelnemers se self-begrip en houding (optimisties of pessimisties) word nou verbind aan die vlak van ondersteuning waartoe hulle toegang het, sowel as hul godsdienstige oortuigings, visie en begrip. Dit word weerspieël in hoe die siekte ervaar en aanvaar word en hoe hul huidige vooruitsigte daaruit sien teenoor toekomstige vooruitsigte. Hierdie studie het ten doel om borskanker uit ‘n humanistiese oogpunt te beskryf deur te luister na die persoonlike stories van individue wat reeds die diagnose en behandeling van borskanker ervaar het. Binne hierdie persoonlike vertellings streef ek daarna om die alledaagse begrip en persepsie van die siekte en die ervarings daarvan uit te brei.en_ZA
dc.description.sponsorshipDirectorate: Research at the University of the Free Stateen_ZA
dc.language.isoenen_ZA
dc.publisherUniversity of the Free Stateen_ZA
dc.subjectBreast canceren_ZA
dc.subjectSocial aspectsen_ZA
dc.subjectSelf-perceptionen_ZA
dc.subjectCancer Treatmenten_ZA
dc.subjectSocial constructivismen_ZA
dc.subjectPhenomenologyen_ZA
dc.subjectSelf-imageen_ZA
dc.subjectFemininityen_ZA
dc.subjectTreatment trajectoryen_ZA
dc.subjectSupporten_ZA
dc.subjectReligionen_ZA
dc.subjectDissertation (M.A. (Sociology))--University of the Free State, 2013en_ZA
dc.titleBreast cancer and the medical encounter: experiences, perceptions, negotiations and transformations of identity and feminityen_ZA
dc.typeDissertationen_ZA
dc.rights.holderUniversity of the Free Stateen_ZA


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