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Understanding the experience of chronic illness in the age of globalization Open Access


Other title
Chronic illness
Critical pedagogy
Hermeneutic phenomenology
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Camargo Plazas, Maria del Pilar
Supervisor and department
Cameron, Brenda (Faculty of Nursing)
Examining committee member and department
Day, Rene (Faculty of Nursing)
Smith, David (Faculty of Education)
Hall, Joanne (External Examiner)
Santos Salas, Anna (Faculty of Nursing)
Faculty of Nursing

Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Chronic disease is the largest cause of death in the world. Yet little is known about how globalization forces affect the body and the experience of someone who is chronically ill. The need for specialized knowledge of subjective data is significant as it will assist us to improve our understanding and develop stronger nursing practices for people who are chronically ill. The purpose of this research is to understand the effect that globalization forces have on the personal experience of people living with chronic illnesses. People living with chronic illness from Canada and Colombia are participants in the study. The following research questions guided the study “What is it like to live with a chronic illness in the context of contemporary globalization forces? How do these political, economical and social forces affect the body of the chronically ill? Are experienced difficulties similar or different in a middle-income country as compared to a high-income country? The methodology for the study follows an interpretive inquiry approach using a critical hermeneutic phenomenological method. Hermeneutic phenomenology explores the various dimensions of human experience in human situations such as embodiment, spatiality, relationality and temporality. Critical pedagogy as a theoretical perspective invoking the work of Paulo Freire and Enrique Dussel is used to examine emerging findings in the context of globalization and resulting global inequities. This dissertation presents the experience of people who are chronically ill including access to health care, respect, compassion, social, political and legal exclusion, and calls for understanding and action on the part of health care professionals, policy makers and society. The findings urge us to move from merely acknowledging the difficulties people living with chronic illness endure in an age of globalization to action to bring about health care, social, and political reform through a process of conscientization and mutual transformation.
License granted by Maria del Pilar Camargo Plazas ( on 2011-04-15T19:25:40Z (GMT): Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of the above terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis, and except as herein provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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