Unpredictable, Incurable, Unemployable? A Collection of Constructed Narratives Exploring the Experiences of People with Chronic Conditions in Relation to Finding and Keeping Work
Uerata, L. M. (2011). Unpredictable, Incurable, Unemployable? A Collection of Constructed Narratives Exploring the Experiences of People with Chronic Conditions in Relation to Finding and Keeping Work (Thesis, Master of Social Sciences (MSocSc)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10289/5960
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/5960
People with chronic conditions have a health problem that is characterised by longevity, permanence, incurability and unpredictability of symptoms. They face significant challenges in gaining and maintaining employment, and are often seen as unemployable. As Chapter One shows, previous research on this topic tends to focus on selected aspects of their experiences. There is little literature which examines the employment issues of people with chronic conditions in a way that pays attention to the everyday life context. The main research questions addressed in this thesis are: What are the subjective experiences of people with chronic conditions in the context of finding and keeping paid employment? What are the meanings they ascribe to those experiences? How do they interact with and operate within the micro- structures of the family, friends, the medical system and government agencies? What is the role of societal norms, values and dominant ideologies? Chapter Two describes how this research draws on a “critical interpretivist” perspective and qualitative methodology to (re)present four people‟s own stories in their own words in order to explore the subjective experiences of people with chronic conditions within the context of work and broader social structures. Two in-depth, semi-structured interviews were undertaken with these four participants, designed to capture their subjective experiences and enable the researcher to retell their stories. Their stories form the heart of the thesis in Chapter Three. In Chapter Four, each narrative is summarised to highlight the employment issues faced by each participant, and answers are provided to the research questions. People with chronic conditions contend with a complex reality. These complexities stem from the fact that they are permanent, incurable and their symptoms unpredictable. And, because there lacks policies or political mechanisms that acknowledge the complex realities they face, they contend with these by themselves and with the people who are willing to assist them. In some circumstances, they are eminently employable.
University of Waikato
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- Masters Degree Theses