Bodies and Language: Health, Ailments, Disabilities by Vaidehi Ramanathan

By Vaidehi Ramanathan

This publication severely addresses the position of language in our collective building of ‘normal' our bodies. Addressing a variety of issues associated with noticeable and invisible, continual and terminal stipulations, the amount probes concerns in and round sufferer and caregiver debts. Focussing on physique stipulations linked to breast melanoma, Alzheimer's illness, (type-1) diabetes, epilepsy, partial listening to and autism, the e-book attracts on various severe theories to contest jointly assembled notions of ‘abnormality,' ‘disability' and ‘impairments.' It additionally addresses the necessity for utilized sociolinguists to take account of the way our getting to know practices - the texts we produce, the orientations we imagine, the theoretical grounds from which we proceed-- create ‘meanings' approximately our bodies and ‘normalcy,' and the significance of closing ever vigilant and civically liable in what we do or declare to do.

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Additional info for Bodies and Language: Health, Ailments, Disabilities

Sample text

Speaking from a feminist, AfricanAmerican and lesbian perspective, she challenges the patriarchal discomfort about speaking about women’s bodies, and writes openly in The Cancer Journals about her refusal to wear a ‘grotesquely pale prosthesis’ and conform to societal expectations of what a ‘normal’ woman’s body should look like. Although she acknowledges the pain and fear accompanying the illness, she chooses to mine ‘whatever strength can lie at the core of this experience’, and writes reflectively of what it means for her as a lesbian woman of color.

McClintock distinguishes between various kinds of abjections thus: With respect to abjection, distinction can be made, for example, between abject objects (the clitoris, domestic dirt, menstrual blood), and abject states (bulimia, the masturbatory imagination, hysteria), which are not the same as abject zones (the Israeli Occupied Territories, prisons, battered women’s shelters). Socially appointed agents of abjection (soldiers, domestic workers, nurses) are not the same as On Metaprescriptive Utterances: Cancer, Breasts and Gazes 37 socially abjected (fetishism, disavowal, the uncanny) which are not the same as political processes of abjection (ethnic genocide, mass removals, prostitute ‘clean ups’).

It is indeed the illness of the individual but this individual can only be conceived of in relation with society as a whole. At the same time cancer is also an illness produced by society, but one that manifests the flaws of the presentday individual. (Herzlich & Peirret, 1987: 62) Implicated in this emergence of a parallel strand is the shifting role of the medical expert. The proliferation of medical information now available to the lay person – presented as it is in easily accessible language and small bites of information – in some sense works to diminish the role of the expert, with patients deciding for themselves whether or not they need ‘second opinions’ on diagnoses, and with doctors themselves consulting other doctors about prognoses.

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