In Stigma Stories: Rhetoric, Lived Experience, and Chronic Illness
, Molly Margaret Kessler focuses on ostomies and gastrointestinal conditions to show how stigma is nearly as central to living with chronic conditions as the conditions themselves. Drawing on a multi-year study that includes participant observations, interviews, and rhetorical engagement with public health campaigns, blogs, social media posts, and news articles, Stigma Stories
advocates for a rhetorical praxiographic approach that is attuned to the rhetorical processes, experiences, and practices in which stigma is enacted or countered.
Engaging interdisciplinary conversations from the rhetoric of health and medicine, disability studies, narrative medicine, and sociology, Kessler takes an innovative look at how stigma functions on individual, interpersonal, and societal levels. In doing so, Kessler reveals how stories and lived experiences have much to teach us not only about how stigma functions but also about how it can be dismantled.
Molly Margaret Kessler is Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.
“Kessler’s revelations regarding the importance of lived experience to rhetorical studies of health and medicine not only serve the ethical mandate to fight stigmatization but are also significant, insightful, and on the cutting edge of the field.” —Jenell Johnson, author of American Lobotomy: A Rhetorical History
“Kessler’s highly original praxiography on ostomies and GI conditions traces the concept of stigma through stories of lived experiences that reveal the ways stigma is rhetorically perpetuated and challenged. The thought-provoking insights in Stigma Stories will make an invaluable contribution to interdisciplinary conversations about stigma.” —Lora Arduser, author of Living Chronic: Agency and Expertise in the Rhetoric of Diabetes