Volume 25, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1387-6740
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9935
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The transition from being well and fully functioning to being suddenly disabled by an acquired brain injury (ABI) and having to start a recovery process has a huge impact on a person’s life and, presumably, identity. However, research is still sparse on the psychosocial consequences of ABI, and there is a lack of identity research based on interviews with clients, i.e. exploring how clients themselves construct their situations, and recovery processes following ABI. The present study aims to fill this gap by investigating identity (re‑)construction after ABI and possible changes throughout the recovery process. The data is part of a larger mixed-method longitudinal study and focuses on narrative identity constructions. This paper draws on interviews (semi-structured) with 42 Danish adults aged 18–66 years with moderate or severe ABI. The participants were interviewed twice. The first interview was conducted while they were hospitalized and the second one-year post injury in their own homes. This article describes the key patterns of identity construction in this cohort, and explores those patterns more explicitly through the use of a single case study. It investigates re-constructions of identity through self-narratives by appeal to methods of discourse analysis, drawing especially on the concept of positioning, and placing particular focus on changes and developmental processes in these self-narratives. The narrative re-constructions point to a developmental change of identity in the course of the different phases of the recovery process, including conflicting voices from society, service providers and other adults with ABI. Results will be discussed in the light of current identity research.


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