Patients, Pharmaceuticals, and Time: Reclaiming the Temporal Ambiguities of Illness and Healing through an Ethnographic Analysis of Asthma

Susanne Trnka


Across many advanced liberal societies, there has been an ostensible reduction in the variability of temporal perspectives, affecting a wide range of facets of contemporary life. With respect to chronic illness, illness and health trajectories are increasingly articulated through the imperatives of self-management programs and evidence-based medicine, both of which link the temporality of coping with illness to the profit-generating ventures of multinational pharmaceuticalcompanies. The discipline of anthropology has, however, long demonstrated theco-existence of multiple temporalities, highlighting the variability and malleability of understandings and lived experiences of time, as well as modes of temporal reckoning. This paper focuses on asthma treatment in New Zealand and the Czech Republic, examining variable experiences of the self and the symptom-within-time, as well as the ambiguous pleasures of stepping outside of everyday social rhythms. I argue that ethnographically examining the fluid and sometimes ambiguous nature of the temporalities of illness and healing trajectories can act as a counterpoint to advanced liberalism’s promotion of subjective forms which are predicated on an increasingly constricted range of temporal visions.

Full Text:

PDF (English)

Na tento článek odkazuje

  • Aktuálně neexistují žádné citace.