Social Studies of Health, Illness and Disease

Perspectives from the Social Sciences and Humanities


The studies of the human being in health and illness and how he can be cared for is concerned with more than the biological aspects and thus calls for a broader perspective. Social sciences and medical humanities give insight into the context and conditions of being ill, caring for the ill, and understanding disease in a respective socio-cultural frame. This book brings together scholars from various countries who are interested in deepening the interdisciplinary discourse on the subject. This book is the outcome of the 4th global conference on “Making Sense of: Health, Illness and Disease,” held at Mansfield College, Oxford, in July 2005.
This volume will be of interest to students in the medical humanities, researchers as well as health care provider who wish to gain insight into the various perspectives through which we can understand health, illness and disease.

It has been brought to our attention that in a chapter in this volume
“Media Treatment of Organ Donation: A Case Study in Switzerland” By Peter J. Schulz
direct reference and citation of the works of other scholars is often inconsistent and in some cases totally lacking. While we do not believe that it was the intention of the author of the article to misappropriate other persons’ material, we do admit that the chapter does not meet standards currently expected of an academic publication. We regret any misappropriation of another author's language, thoughts, ideas, or expressions in our publications and will remain vigilant to prevent this recurring in the future. We give notice that the chapter has been retracted and will not appear in any future editions of the book.

Brill, February 2016

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Table of contents

Vera KALITZKUS and Peter L. TWOHIG: Introduction
Body, Self and Illness
Amy RUTSTEIN-RILEY: Shifting Views of Self: Impact of Chronic Illness Diagnosis on Young Emerging Adult Women
Marlene BENJAMIN: Cancer and the Idea of the Self: Philosophy, Memoir and Medical Trauma
Social and Cultural Context(s)
Joe GRIXTI: Desirability and Its Discontents: Young People’s Responses to Media Images of Health, Beauty and Physical Perfection
Isabelle MEURET: Writing Size Zero: Figuring Anorexia in Contemporary World Literatures
Katarina BERNHARDSSON: Devils, Serpents, Zebras: Metaphors of Illness in Contemporary Swedish Literature on Eating Disorders
The Ideal Body
Charlotte BAKER: Writing Over the Illness: The Symbolic Representation of Albinism
Elisabeth GEDGE: Genetics, Disability and Symbolic Harm
Donovan ROCHER: Alcoholism: ‘Correction’ and the Changing Notions of ‘Recovery’
Representing Pain: Interdisciplinary Perspectives
Zoë NORRIDGE: Perceptions of Pain in Contemporary Zimbabwean Literature: Personal Public Narratives in Yvonne Vera’s The Stone Virgins
Victoria M. GRACE and Sara MACBRIDE-STEWART: Metaphors of Injury: Women Make Sense of Pelvic Pain
Stella HOWDEN: Barriers to Talking About Chronic Pain: Insiders’ Views on Illness, Self and Responsibility
Perspectives on Donation
Susan ROGERS: Standardising Semen: Online Personalities and the Negotiation of Health
Peter J. SCHULZ: Media Treatment of Organ Donation: A Case Study in Switzerland

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