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Biographical work and returning to employment following a spinal cord injury

Abstract : The question of returning to work after the onset of severe impairment
is inseparable from the biographical work that disabled people need to achieve.
Qualitative analysis of interviews I carried out among people who had become paraplegic and among rehabilitation professionals offered the following insights:
- During a period extending beyond rehabilitation, interviewees were absorbed by the work of coming to terms with their impairment and delegated the question of occupation to the professionals. At a later date, some of them manage to recast their biographies and gain ownership of their occupations and activities for themselves. An open environment, which offers negotiable opportunities and space for relationships to form, encourages the development of biographical work.
- Nowadays, the question of exclusion would appear to dominate the domain of rehabilitation. The belief that prolonged inactivity engenders marginalisation has led professionals to develop a doctrine whereby they encourage their patients to plan for their professional activities from a very early stage. Struggling with different time demands (for example, lengthy administrative procedures, reduced rehabilitation time) professionals organise their work around a new time frame which conflicts with their expertise and is difficult to reconcile with the trajectories of disabled people.
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Contributor : Isabelle Ville Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Wednesday, November 9, 2005 - 6:42:03 PM
Last modification on : Friday, October 7, 2022 - 4:46:41 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - 12:47:43 PM

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Isabelle Ville. Biographical work and returning to employment following a spinal cord injury. Sociology of Health and Illness, Wiley, 2005, 27 (3), pp.324-350. ⟨halshs-00005472⟩

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