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Negotiating acquired spinal conditions: Recovery with/in bodily materiality and fluids

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Jayne JeffriesORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


The paper explores the concept of recovery; the unexpected material changes that occur to, and within bodies following acquired spinal conditions. The phrase ‘acquired spinal conditions’ is used as a collective name for the four accounts of recovery that emerged using Participatory Action Research in the north east of England (2010-11). Using two qualitative methods, Photovoice and participatory diagramming, the empirical material examines the role of physiological changes as a way to enrich understandings of disability and the bodily experience of impairment. Three themes, bodily materiality, material objects and fluids became significant during one-to-one and small group interactions with participants. The paper is situated in wider debates in geographies of disability and impairment, focusing on the interplay between different physiological states of being and the bodily changes experienced through recovery. It argues that recovery is the process of negotiating, adapting and adjusting to changes, from the way bodily materiality shifts and fluctuates following accidents and medical interventions, settling over time as participants become aware of bodily changes, to the role of material objects and the fluids that pass back and forth changing bodily interiors. The paper closes with a call for geographies of affect to explore the individual and collective feelings associated with fluids, and the human-animal relations affecting recovery and bodily interiors.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Jeffries JM

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Social Science and Medicine

Year: 2018

Volume: 211

Pages: 61-69

Print publication date: 01/08/2018

Online publication date: 16/04/2018

Acceptance date: 13/04/2018

Date deposited: 25/05/2018

ISSN (print): 0277-9536

ISSN (electronic): 1873-5347

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2018.04.017


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