Illness Narratives of African Americans Living with Coronary Heart Disease: A Critical Interactionist Analysis
- Author(s): Dubbin, L
- McLemore, M
- Shim, JK
- et al.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1177/1049732316645319
© The Author(s) 2016. How African American men and women respond to and manage living with coronary heart disease (CHD) is not well understood despite the well-documented disproportionate burden of CHD and its complications among African Americans in the United States. Through a critical interactionist perspective, we explore illness experiences of African Americans living with CHD and describe a broad range of micro-, meso-, and macro-contextual factors that influence their illness experiences. For participants in this study, CHD has become a "Black disease" wherein certain bodies have become historically and racially marked; a conceptualization maintained and passed on by African Americans themselves. Such findings highlight that CHD is more than a "lifestyle disease" where high-risk behaviors and lack of healthy choices are ultimate culprits. Rather, CHD is perceived by African Americans who have it as yet another product of ongoing racial and socio-structural dynamics through which their health burdens are created, sustained, and reproduced.
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