Picturing Cancer Survivorship: A collection of photographs from the ‘changing landscapes of survivorship’ study

Presenter: Dr Katherine Kenny

About the presentation

Two out of every five Australians – almost half of us – will be diagnosed with cancer before our eighty-fifth birthday. Even so, we typically see only a fairly narrow representation of cancer in the media and get only small glimpses into the experiences of people who are living (and sometimes dying) with cancer. These glimpses rarely show the full picture of what day-to-day life with cancer is like – away from the hospital and back in ‘everyday’ life. How do people experience cancer, not only as a ‘patient’, but as a husband, wife or grandparent, as an older person, a friend, neighbor, or member of the community?

In this seminar, I will discuss the results of the ‘Picturing Cancer Survivorship’ study – an ARC-funded research project using photovoice methods and in-depth interviews with people living with cancer and their significant others to explore the sociological dimensions of living with cancer. Drawing on participant-produced photos and interviews with 130 participants, I will present some of the complex relational dynamics that accompany cancer including ‘anticipation, ‘waiting’, ‘making memories’ and cultivating a ‘new normal’. Although cancer begins at the cellular level, in this talk I will show how it extends well beyond the body of any individual, with its consequences felt across the lifeworlds of families, communities and society at large.

About the presenter

Dr Katherine Kenny is an ARC DECRA Senior Research Fellow in Sociology in the School of Social Sciences at The University of Sydney, where she is also Deputy Director of the Sydney Centre for Healthy Societies.

In her research, Katherine brings together cutting-edge social theory and innovative qualitative methods to develop new ways of understanding, and addressing, some of the key health challenges that we face as individuals, societies, and as a global community.

From how we understand emerging global health threats, to what we go through when we receive a diagnosis of a life-threatening illness, Katherine pays careful attention to people’s day-to-day subjective and socially situated experiences of health, illness and care.

Her aim is to develop empirically grounded and forward-thinking implications for how we can do better for our collective and societal health, now and into the future.

Further information: [email protected]

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