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Spontaneity and serendipity: Space and time in the lives of people with diabetes


This article considers the relevance of non-representational theory to understanding the lived experience of diabetes. While non-representational theory has gained traction in the social sciences, especially Human Geography, its usefulness in extending understanding of experiences of health and illness is often restricted to an idea of wellbeing that assumes an able and healthy body. This article draws on qualitative research on the everyday experiences of living with diabetes, to consider how non-representational theory can be applied to understanding the everyday experience of ill bodies. The analysis moves through ideas of mobility, routine, anticipation and adjustment to highlight the challenges of spontaneity and serendipity in the everyday lives of people with diabetes. The article concludes by considering some of the advantages of a non-representational approach for healthcare practice.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 4, 2019
Online Publication Date Dec 5, 2019
Publication Date 2020-01
Publicly Available Date May 26, 2023
Journal Social Science and Medicine
Print ISSN 0277-9536
Publisher Elsevier
Volume 245
Article Number ARTN 112723
Keywords UK, Diabetes, Non-representational theory, Mobility, Routine, Chronic illness, Space-time, Qualitative
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