The illness experience: state of knowledge and perspectives for research


Address for correspondence: Janine Pierret, CERMES, Site CNRS 7, 7 rue Guy Môquet, 94801 VILLEJUIF CEDEX, France e-mail:


Abstract Over the last quarter of a century, research on the illness experience has thrived. Publications on this subject are reviewed in relation to three themes: subjectivity; coping actions and strategies for managing everyday life; and the social structure. Sociology of Health and Illness has contributed significantly to this field. In conclusion, research perspectives are suggested for tackling the problems in passing from a micro to a macro level of analysis.