Caught up in Care: Crafting Moral Subjects of Chronic Fatigue

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Patients with chronic fatigue receive advice to improve symptom management and well-being. This advice is based on ideas of self-management and is conveyed during clinical assessment as “activity regulation.” Based on ethnographic fieldwork in a hospital clinic in Norway, we show how these patients attempt to demonstrate their competences and everyday concerns, and how the ideology of self-management frames the hope for recovery and crafts a subject with the ability to improve. Patients, however, linger between everyday social predicaments and ideals of healthy living, and are caught up in cultural models of care that deflect everyday concerns and agency.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMedical Anthropology: Cross Cultural Studies in Health and Illness
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)432-445
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2021

    Research areas

  • activity regulation, agency, chronic fatigue, moral codes, Norway, self-management

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