Once a synonym for death, cancer is now a prognosis of multiple probabilities and produces a world of uncertainty for carers. Drawing on rich, in-depth interview data and employing interactionist theories, Towards a Sociology of Cancer Caregiving explores carers' lived experiences, paying close attention to the ways in which spouse carers manage the ambiguity that pervades their orientations to the future, their responsibilities and their emotions. A detailed exploration of the temporal and emotional journeys of spouse carers of cancer patients, this volume raises and responds to new questions about how to conceptualise informal caregiving, offering a fresh theorisation of the uncertainty that now characterises cancer. As such, it will appeal to scholars of the sociologies of emotion, time and identity, and all those interested in the question of how to support informal carers.
Rebecca E. Olson is Senior Lecturer in Sociology in the School of Social Science at the University of Queensland, Australia.