By Vaidehi Ramanathan
This publication seriously addresses the position of language in our collective building of ‘normal' our bodies. Addressing a number issues associated with seen and invisible, persistent and terminal stipulations, the quantity probes concerns in and round sufferer and caregiver bills. Focussing on physique stipulations linked to breast melanoma, Alzheimer's ailment, (type-1) diabetes, epilepsy, partial listening to and autism, the publication attracts on a variety of serious theories to contest jointly assembled notions of ‘abnormality,' ‘disability' and ‘impairments.' It additionally addresses the necessity for utilized sociolinguists to take account of ways our discovering practices - the texts we produce, the orientations we suppose, 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 resources for Bodies and Language: Health, Ailments, Disabilities
These relations characterize not the language (langue) used by discourse, nor the circumstances in which it is deployed, but discourse itself as a practice. (Foucault, The Archeology of Knowledge, 1972: 46) Notes 1. 2. Sontag’s criticism of the dehumanizing tropes of bio-medical discourses influenced scholars to assume postmodern orientations to bodies. From a sociological point of view, Jackie Stacey (1997), for instance, writes of postmodern approaches to cancer (in Teratologies: A Cultural Study of Cancer); situated in philosophy, Margit Shildrik’s (1997) Leaky Bodies and Boundaries assumes a postmodern ethic.
I was told the disease may or may not still be present in my body. It may or may not return. (Stacey, 1997: 4) Stacey’s questioning about who she now was in relation to her ailment and body after surgery captures something that is hinted at in Barbara’s narrative: the tumult of having one’s sense of self overturned by a dominant medical metaprescriptive utterance (of both being a cancer patient and having a body part removed) while also speaking agentively of trying to reconceptualize herself. Like Stacey and Lorde, Barbara’s lines, where she speaks of her joking with doctors about not having any more breast pain, also captures degrees of agency, with the forward-looking, positive orientation she is giving to what is otherwise a traumatic ‘wake-up’ call.
The last five have been a challenge; this last year very rough. My getting breast cancer put more of a strain on the relationship . . It is too scary for him to comprehend so he buries it, and escapes by going to the office. His behaviour was one big surprise through this whole thing . . Finally, I said to him, ‘if you can’t help me personally or emotionally, could you at least handle the bills and the paperwork for the insurance? ’ It turned out he didn’t even do that or if he did he was not very thorough.
Bodies and Language: Health, Ailments, Disabilities by Vaidehi Ramanathan