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Harvesting the Social Meanings of Brain Injury

Approaches to the study of brain injury over the years have increasingly centered brain imaging technologies and focused on the brain as a biological object possessed by individuals. While important, this approach has also caused us to focus on the experience of harm as simply an individual experience. However, we know that brain injury is a also a social experience and that how people experience injury and recovery greatly depends on their social context and how they are perceived. What it means to have a brain injury and how individuals, families, providers, and communities experience brain injury is very complicated and to treat them adequately requires a more holistic and culturally situated approach.  

The Brain Injury Story Harvesting Project recognizes that the symptoms or impacts of brain injury are often misunderstood in particular populations because of the cultural ideas that get attached to these groups. This project leverages insights from both physiologically oriented approaches and those that acknowledge the social meaning of brain injury to surface the cultural meanings of brain injury among these groups while also considering multiple culturally appropriate intervention approaches.