- Visibility and invisibility in chronic illness
- Medische Antropologie
- Volume | Issue number
- 22 | 2
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
Does the visibility of a condition necessarily lead to stigmatization? Is it easier to suffer from an invisible than a visible condition? And what are the consequences of living with an invisible or visible illness? In this article the author draws on the concepts of stigma and concealability to argue that the visibility of a condition does not necessarily lead to stigmatization, but that people can use visibility strategically. This article further demonstrates that even if people disclose their illness it can remain invisible to people whom they encounter. The author uses empirical examples from qualitative research in Dublin among twenty people who have been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. In addition, she draws on her own experience of living with a chronic condition.
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