|dc.description.abstract||This thesis presents a social study of childhood cancer treatment in a group of British
Bangladeshi children living in one city in the United Kingdom.
It draws on theoretical perspectives that see childhood as a social construction and
children as active contributors to the social world, whilst acknowledging that their
contributions are mediated by their dependence on adults.
British Bangladeshi children represent a significant minority group whose cultural
heritage may challenge the underlying assumptions of biomedical paediatric cancer
care. An ethnographic study was undertaken to develop a detailed description of the
social and cultural needs of this group of children. Fieldwork was conducted in home
and clinical settings to provide an account of how day to day social relations for
children, families and health care professionals are experienced.
The analysis indicates that cancer service organisation, the dual language of families
and clinical implications of the disease simultaneously contributed to the social
impact of childhood cancer treatment on the daily lives of children. The data themes
on childhood, cancer treatment and culture: language and power reveal that children,
parents and professionals differentially constituted vulnerability in childhood cancer.
Central to this thesis is the role of relationships between children, parents and
professionals in the production of childhood cancer treatment including their
ambiguous and borderline nature. I conclude that this produced a day to day reality
of diminished power and agency for participants and led to children in particular
occupying positions of liminality.
This work challenges the assumption that membership of the social category of
childhood has equivalent meaning to all social actors. It calls for further exploration
of the taken for granted ideas of childhood during illness that professionals employ in
their clinical practice from a perspective that acknowledges the structures that frame
adult child relations and the context of care delivery.||en_US