Inclusion and Purpose: An Ethnographic Study of the Experiences of Stroke Survivors with Aphasia

Team Members/Contributors

Peggy J. Goetz Calvin College Contact Me

About this award

Christian and disability studies scholars have written very little about individuals with communication disorders; medical professionals have recently begun to look at the social experiences of stroke survivors, but there have been no studies focused on the experiences of stroke survivors with aphasia in their church communities so the results of this project will be of interest in both medical and Christian communities. My project is an ethnographic study of stroke survivors’ experiences in worship, small group fellowship, and Christian service. This stroke study uses ethnographic methods to gather contextual and qualitative data from 16 stroke survivors and their caregivers in a variety of contexts related to their church communities, specifically worship services, small group fellowships or Bible studies, and Christian service opportunities. The project director and a graduate student assistant participate in these church-related situations with stroke survivors and tape-record open-ended interviews with stroke survivors, their caregivers, and close friends from their faith community. Included in this description will be a final “silent” retreat for the participating stroke survivors in which worship and fellowship will be conducted primarily through visual and musical means and led by the stroke survivors.