AuthorWasserkrug, Sue, 1960-
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThirty patients at a Tucson respiratory clinic were questioned to elicit data to yield an ethnography of asthma. The methodology involved one structured, open-ended interview per patient. The patients ranged in age from 24 to 82; a range of demographic, sociocultural, and medical variables were represented. Two themes, control and limitation, surfaced as the key issues in the construction of meaning attached to the experience of asthma. Asthmatics feel a loss of control over their lives, which they see as being shaped--to some degree--by the limitations that asthma incurs. The sensation of losing control causes fear or panic, a common emotion among asthmatics, according to informants. The need to take medication on a daily basis is seen as an important symbol in the development of patients' conceptions of their illnesses. The influence of dominant cultural values on the expression of asthma is discussed, and an understanding of the effect of asthma on the daily lives of Americans is offered.
Degree ProgramGraduate College