'It gives me my freedom’: technology and responding to bodily limitations in Motor Neuron Disease

Pavey, Amanda and Warren, Narelle and Allen-Collinson, Jacquelyn (2015) 'It gives me my freedom’: technology and responding to bodily limitations in Motor Neuron Disease. Medical Anthropology, 34 (5). pp. 442-455. ISSN 0145-9740

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Item Type:Article
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Abstract

People living with Motor Neuron Disease (MND) experience profound and rapidly progressing impairment. In order to maintain their physical and social functioning, people so affected employ a range of technologies and technological aids (body auxiliaries) to enhance their life and maintain wellbeing. Using a phenomenological study design, we explored the experiences of 42 men and women who had been diagnosed with MND. Although many participants initially resisted the adoption of aids (often-electronic devices that enabled continued participation in daily life) or tools (the instruments that allowed achievement of specific tasks), such technologies offered a way for people with MND to overcome, to some extent, the limitations posed by their physical degeneration. Through generating a sense of ‘normality’, these kinds of ‘enabling’ technologies promoted social engagement and the maintenance of valued relationships or activities. Technologies can provide people with MND with some positive experiences within a way of being-in-the-world that has become so difficult and challenging.

Keywords:Motor Neurone Disease MND, Sociology, Anthropology, Illness, Sociological phenomenology, Phenomenology, Assistive Technology, Health studies, JCNotOpen
Subjects:L Social studies > L300 Sociology
L Social studies > L610 Social and Cultural Anthropology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Sport and Exercise Science
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ID Code:17730
Deposited On:18 Jun 2015 10:45

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