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Books, Journals, New Media
August 19, 1998

Disruption and Meaning: Disrupted Lives: How People Create Meaning in a Chaotic World

Author Affiliations

Harriet S.MeyerMD, Contributing EditorJonathan D.EldredgeMLS, PhD, Journal Review EditorRobertHoganMD, adviser for new media


Not Available

JAMA. 1998;280(7):665. doi:10.1001/jama.280.7.665

Everyone faces disruptions, ranging from simple delays to important meetings to the worst a person could contemplate, such as loss of a loved one or the diagnosis of a life-threatening illness. Inevitably, disruption brings suffering, and when individuals face disruption of any kind, they naturally seek to create coherence with the life that was present before the disruption. This coherence is shaped by cultural norms. Studies of disrupted lives have often been reported from a psychological perspective, providing insights into coping, but rarely have authors examined disruption from a cultural perspective.