Lucherini, M (2019) Representing diabetes: ‘Brightside’ and ‘chaos’ in autobiography. Emotion, Space and Society, 31. pp. 10-17. ISSN 1755-4586

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This paper examines six autobiographical sources written by people with type 1 diabetes. In seeking to improve the understanding of diabetic lifeworlds; some of the autobiographies present heroic stories of ‘overcoming’ diabetes while others present a more ‘chaotic’ narrative. Regardless of their form, all the autobiographies highlight how the everyday problems and concerns associated with diabetes can be hidden and silenced. Therefore, I ask the question of how to use autobiographies as sources of evidence, being aware of the power constructs that may have directed their form. Despite this question, I argue that autobiographies remain crucial sources for exploring the experience of everyday life and much of the silencing in the texts reflects spatial and emotional challenges faced by the authors. I also consider the limitations of representation in the autobiographies calling for an understanding that the experience of diabetes carries with it feelings, emotions and affects that are non-representable and so never entirely knowable. Thus, this paper builds on recent geographical research on emotion and ‘contested’ illnesses, especially those that are not obviously visible or are easily hidden.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the accepted author manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) is available online via Elsevier at - please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.
Uncontrolled Keywords: diabetes, health, emotion, autobiography, narrative, representation
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC660 Diabetes
Divisions: Faculty of Natural Sciences > School of Geography, Geology and the Environment
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 28 Feb 2019 09:51
Last Modified: 26 Feb 2020 01:30

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