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Author:Tanja Bukovcan (University of Zagreb)
Paper short abstract:
The paper is an autoethnographic account of my mother’s battle against cancer and it compares her negotiating strategies with that of her doctors in the chronological reality of the approaching death. The paper combines the “normal” ethnographic research with its “abnormal” subjective content.
Paper long abstract:
The paper is an autoethnographic account of the final three months of my mother’s battle against inoperable rectohepatic cancer. The aim of the paper is to contrast her narrative and negotiating strategies with that of her doctors in the chronological reality of the disease. Discovering the points where those narrative strategies were parallel and supportive or contrastive and opposite, will reveal the way in which they affected the choices of treatments the patient chose and/or was offered. Furthermore, the paper analyses the concepts of good and bad patient, the former being the compliant one and the latter being the demanding one, and the way they were formulated and perpetuated in the narratives and behaviors of the doctors and hospital staff. Finally, the paper will examine emerging and shifting realities of power, control and responsibility which were revealed in the timeline of imminent and approaching death. Methodologically, the paper presents an attempt to create valid scientifically relevant knowledge by combining the “normal” ethnographic research, done during eighty-six daily visits to the hospital through participation, observation and many formal and informal meetings with doctors, patients, hospital staff, taxi drivers, dog walkers or fellow smokers in front of the hospital, with its “abnormal”, painful, subjective content which have unavoidably colored and shaded my perceptions and practices. I will try to reveal and discuss those potential shadings in knowledge creation.
Faraway, so close - when subjectivity breaks the rules. Creating knowledge through autoethnography I