A Sociological Approach to Acquired Brain Injury and Identity  book cover
1st Edition

A Sociological Approach to Acquired Brain Injury and Identity

ISBN 9781472474476
Published September 21, 2017 by Routledge
152 Pages

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Book Description

Inspired by the author’s personal experience of sustaining acquired brain injury (ABI), this path-breaking book explores the (re)construction of identity after ABI. It offers a way of understanding ABI through a social scientific lens, promoting an understanding that is generated through close engagement with the lives and experiences of ABI survivors.

The author follows the everyday experiences of six male survivors and critically investigates their identity (re)construction after their ABI. As well as demonstrating identity (re)construction after ABI, the experiences of the participants allow the reader to investigate neurological rehabilitation from their perspective. This book suggests that rehabilitation after ABI is often a continual process that extends beyond the formal, medically prescribed period. It also shows that identity after ABI is often (re)constructed in an unpredictable way; a way that emphasises the importance of reciprocal support and the uncertainty of future life.

A Sociological Approach to Acquired Brain Injury and Identity is essential reading for academics and students from a range of social scientific disciplines with an interest in biographical or ethnographic research methods. This book offers a social scientific view of rehabilitation and as such is also essential reading for academics, students and professionals with an interest in health and illness, particularly neurological rehabilitation and brain injury rehabilitation.

Table of Contents

Foreword  1. Introduction  2. A clinical introduction to acquired brain injury and rehabilitation  3. Mapping the terrain: Theorising my identity (re)construction after ABI  4. Researching the everyday complexities of the lives of ABI survivors  5. Dependence, independence and interdependence in the lives of ABI survivors  6. Exploring time in ABI rehabilitation: Towards a rehabilitation imagination?  7. Critical reflections  Index

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Jonathan Harvey is a brain injury survivor and a social scientist who specialises in neurological rehabilitation. Jonathan recently completed a Ph.D. at the Open University (2015), which was entitled ‘Navigating the complexities of acquired brain injury: Theorising everyday activities in identity (re)construction’.


'Jonathan Harvey has produced a text that powerfully evokes the possibilities of thinking about the human body as a complex assemblage of connections with other humans and non-humans. And, for this reason, he wonderfully offers Acquired Brain Injury as an opportunity to consider what it means to be human.' Dan Goodley, Professor of Disability Studies and Education, Director of Research, University of Sheffield

'Jonathan Harvey’s book reflects the understanding that whatever else disability is, it is forged of our relations with it. He has captured the complexity of what it means to live with an acquired brain injury where there is no clear divide between everyday life with friends, family, school and work, and (re)constructing one’s life post injury. Without traveling into an unmarked sense of normalcy, we find in this book vital ways that Harvey, as a survivor, clinician and researcher, and how other young men have sustained life in the face of difficult societal meanings of acquired brain injury.' Tanya Titchkosky, Professor of Disability Studies in the Department of Social Justice Education at OISE of the University of Toronto, Canada and author of Disability, Self and Society; as well as Reading and Writing Disability Differently; and more recently The Question of Access

'Dr. Harvey’s book provides a compelling investigation of identity (re)construction post brain injury and the pivotal role played by rehabilitation. Positioned as both a brain injury survivor and former physiotherapy student, Harvey critically interrogates the experiences of six young men post brain injury to offer fresh insights into how disability and difference are understood and addressed in healthcare. This highly readable text should be required reading for any rehabilitation professional.' Barbara E. Gibson, author of Rehabilitation: A Post-critical Approach, Associate Professor, Department of Physical Therapy, University of Toronto