"This is for life": a discursive analysis of the dilemmas of constructing diagnostic identities

Article


Tucker, I. 2009. "This is for life": a discursive analysis of the dilemmas of constructing diagnostic identities. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research. 10 (3).
AuthorsTucker, I.
Abstract

This paper takes a discourse analytic approach to the construction of identities formed through reception of a psychiatric diagnosis (I will refer to these as "diagnostic identities" throughout) as dilemmatic, and the subsequent negotiations of identities in light of that dilemma. More specifically, it is the diagnosis schizophrenia that is of interest, and how people who receive that diagnosis construct their identities. A key feature of receiving a schizophrenic diagnosis is the potential to see one's identity as under threat from the many negative, and predominantly stereotypical ideas, that persist regarding schizophrenia. Drawing on literature emerging from the field of service user research in mental health, the paper attempts to go beyond the boundaries of a psychiatric biomedical perspective of diagnosis, in order to illuminate how such classifications impact upon those who receive them. In this paper the discursive re-workings of individual diagnostic identities included strategies of resisting diagnosis, attempts to distance oneself from diagnosis, existentialising diagnosis, and recognising but resisting suggestions that people with diagnoses of schizophrenia are a social "risk".

Keywordsschizophrenia diagnosis; dilemma; risk; discourse analysis; service users
JournalForum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research
Journal citation10 (3)
ISSN1438-5627
Year2009
Accepted author manuscript
License
CC BY-ND
Web address (URL)http://www.qualitative-research.net/index.php/fqs/article/viewArticle/1376/2872
http://hdl.handle.net/10552/1102
Publication dates
PrintSep 2009
Publication process dates
Deposited14 Dec 2010
Additional information

Citation:
Tucker, I.M. (2009) ‘“This is for life”: A discursive analysis of the dilemmas of constructing diagnostic identities.’ Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 10(3) Art. 24.

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