Constant Burden: Reconstitution of Family Life

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9780710081834: Constant Burden: Reconstitution of Family Life

First published in 1975, "A Constant Burden" was a truly ground-breaking text in the field of medical sociology, that has since become a undisputed classic. Over thirty years later this revised edition gives new life to this important work. It contains the same seminal study of families with a disabled child, based on an analysis of interviews with parents about the effects on their family life of their child's disability. Whereas much of the contemporary research assumed that the presence of such a child must constitute a problem and attempted to read parents' responses as indicators of the family's psychological and social adjustment to this 'reality', Voysey Paun's analysis takes a radically different stance. She shows that what parents say should rather be understood as socially constructed accounts of 'normal parenting' which induce others to identify them as properly fulfilling their responsibilities as good parents. Voysey Paun's approach to the analysis and interpretation of interview responses has become a much more central theme for sociological research, instrumental in changing theories about the nature of disability and the family as expressed by sociologists, social workers and other agencies. The revised edition contains a new introduction which puts the study in its intellectual context. It will be essential reading in the sociology of health and illness, and will also be of interest to social workers and other professionals concerned with disability and family life.

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About the Author:

Margaret Voysey Paun received her PhD in Sociology from the University of Aberdeen, where she embarked on the project on which the first edition of this book was based. She has been Research Officer at the Social Research Unit of Bedford College, University of London, and Visiting Assistant Professor in Anthropology and Sociology at the University of British Columbia. She writes fiction, including plays, and worked as a Senior Parliamentary Assistant from 1990 until the 2005 election.

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Voysey, Margaret
Published by Routledge & Kegan Paul Books (1975)
ISBN 10: 0710081839 ISBN 13: 9780710081834
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