Storied Health and Illness: Communicating Personal, Cultural, and Political Complexities by Jill  Yamasaki, Patricia  Geist-Martin, Barbara F. Sharf
395 pages, $54.95 list
1-4786-3248-8
978-1-4786-3248-1
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Storied Health and Illness
Communicating Personal, Cultural, and Political Complexities
Health and illness are storied experiences that necessarily entail personal, cultural, and political complexities. For all of us, communicating about health and illness requires a continuous negotiation of these complexities and a delicate balance between what we learn about the biology of disease from providers and our own very personal, subjective experiences of being ill.

Storied Health and Illness brings together dozens of noteworthy scholars, both established and emerging, in a provocative collection that embraces narrative ways of knowing to think about, analyze, and reconsider our own and others’ health beliefs, behaviors, and communication. Comprehensive content reflects the editors’ substantial research in integrative health, narrative care, and innovative ways of improving well-being and quality of life in personal relationships, healthcare, the workplace, and community settings.

Unique narrative approaches to the study of health communication include:

• 14 chapters written by 22 contributors who use engaging stories from their own research or personal experience to introduce and ground foundational communication concepts in healthcare, health promotion, community support, organizational wellness, and other health-related sites of interest.

• Compelling stories of individuals living with the inherent challenges and unexpected opportunities of mental illness, addiction, aging, cancer, dialysis, sexual harassment, miscarriage, obesity, alopecia, breastfeeding, health threats to immigrant workers, developmental differences, and youth gun violence.

• 36 Health Communication in Action (HCIA) sidebars that highlight applied research of innovative health communication scholars in their own words and then prompt readers to think more deeply about their own perspectives and experiences.

• Theorizing Practice boxes that encourage readers to reflect on stories that describe significant experiences in their own and others’ lives as they consider assumptions and enlarge their viewpoints in previously unimagined ways.
Reviews
“This thoughtful, inviting text tackles the complexities of health communication from the frequently missing perspective of storytelling. Human beings are natural storytellers and this text gives voice to the idea that, as a whole, individual health can be understood as a series of interconnected stories. Storied Health and Illness represents a vigorous examination of the multiple, interconnected, personal, social, political, and cultural realities that shape our stories and, consequently, shape our health.” — Elizabeth Rattine-Flaherty, St. Louis College of Pharmacy

“I think this is a very needed book, highlighting narrative health communication issues as a theoretical and methodological approach in a wide variety of healthcare contexts. The book benefits from the inclusion of multiple authors in an anthology format. At the same time, it incorporates sufficient foundational and applied information to be useful for students encountering narrative approaches for health for the first time.” — Liliana Herakova, University of Maine
Table of Contents
1. Communicating the Complexities of Health and Illness (Jill Yamasaki)
Defining Health Communication / The Study and Practice of Health Communication / Thinking with Stories / Theorizing from Everyday Health Practices / Personal Complexities / Cultural Complexities / Cultural Complexities / Political Complexities / Negotiating Politics and Transcending Imbalances / Linking Complexities and Shared Understandings / Health Citizenry / Conclusion

2. Communicating Health through Narratives (Barbara F. Sharf)
The Meaning(s) of Aging / The Essential Nature of Health and Illness Narratives / From Illness to Well-Being / Cultural Narratives about Aging / Political Complexities of Aging / From Well-Being to Quality of Life / Conclusion

3. Communicating in Patient-Provider Relationships (Marleah Dean)
Ecological Model of Health Communication / Biomedical vs. Biopsychosocial Models of Medicine / Relationship-Centered and Patient-Centered Care and Communication / Health Outcomes / Conclusion

4. Communicating Healthcare Teamwork (Laura L. Ellingson and Kristian G. E. Borofka)
What Is a Healthcare Team? / Professional Socialization / Continuum of Collaboration and Teamwork / Frontstage and Backstage of Healthcare Delivery / Improving Team Communication / Conclusion

5. Communicating and Navigating Digitized Healthcare (Jeanine M. Mingé and Nicole Defenbaugh)
The Digital Healthcare System / The Digital Doctor / The Digital Patient / Considering the Complexities / Epilogue

6. Communicating Health and Healing through Art (Lynn M. Harter, Michael Broderick, Kristen Okamoto, Rebekah Crawford, and Sarah Parsloe)
An Aesthetic Orientation to Health Communication / Art Programming and Self-Expression / Creating Social Solidarity / Enlarging the Social Imaginary / Epilogue / Conclusion

7. Communicating Workplace Wellness as Flourishing (Patricia Geist-Martin and Jennifer A. Scarduzio)
Working Well: Quality Life at Work / Constraints on the Dimensions of Health and Quality of Life / Dimensions of Communicating Wellness at Work / Epilogue / Conclusion

8. Communicating Stigma and Acceptance (Christine S. Davis and Margaret M. Quinlan)
Fat Talk / Hegemony and Medicalization / Social Construction of Body Size / Stigma / Biomedical Model of Weight Loss / Addressing and Reducing Stigma / Epilogue / Conclusion

9. Communicating through Health Challenges (Elissa Foster)
My Eyes Cry without Me / Breaking Bad News: Practitioner-Patient Communication / Chronic Illness and Family Caregiving / Communicating at the End of Life: Hospice and Palliative Care / Communication and Grief / Epilogue / Conclusion

10. Communicating Health and Connection in Supportive Communities (Jill Yamasaki)
Conceptualizing Community / Communicating Support / Community Connections and Capacities / Epilogue / Conclusion

11. Communicating through Health Campaigns and Entertainment-Education (Katherine A. Foss)
Traditional Health Campaigns / Entertainment-Education / Epilogue / Conclusion

12. Communicating the Politics of Healthcare Systems (Heather Zoller and Shaunak Sastry)
The Politics of Defining Health and Attributing Illness / The Politics of Medicalization / Health and the Economy / Politics and Communicating Medical Care Reform / Conclusion

13. Communicating the Culture-Centered Approach to Health Disparities (Mohan J. Dutta and Satveer Kaur)
Globalization, Neoliberalism, and Health Disparities / The Culture-Centered Approach / The Culture-Centered Approach and Narratives / The Intersections of Culture, Structure, and Agency / The Role of Community Participation in the CCA / The Respect Our Rights Campaign / Stories for Method and Theory / Epilogue / Conclusion

14. The Story Unfolds: Linking Complexities (Patricia Geist-Martin)
TKF as Activist for the Public Health Issue of Gun Violence / Reflecting on the Key Themes in the Book / Developing Competencies in Communicating Health / Competencies in Action: Collaboratively Constructed Health in Communities / Epilogue / Conclusion