Stigma and silence: Oral histories of tuberculosis

Susan Kelly

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    In Ireland the tuberculosis death rate was still increasing in 1900, thirty years after it had begun to decline in England and remained higher until the 1950s. Tuberculosis sufferersand their families often felt stigmatised and many people chose to keep quiet about theirdisease. In time the silence became a habit. This article is based on thirty-three interviews with adults who suffered tuberculosis as children in Northern Ireland. The interviewees experienced the onset of the disease between 1926 and 1962 and many of them had never spoken of their experiences before. This paper examines why some chose to speak now and why others were still reluctant to respond.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)79-90
    JournalOral History
    Volume39
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2010

    Keywords

    • tuberculosis
    • stigma
    • silence
    • illness narritives
    • Northern Ireland

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