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McMaster University
Dan Popowich

Illness & The Body in Cross-cultural Perspectives Continued… Somatization – Mental illness/condition present those problems in physical ways. Illness Narratives Culture Bound Syndromes - A group of folk illnesses that are often connected to wider concerns. - Importantly the body is often a place where culture & society is reflected. Ex’s: Hsiehping – dead relatives posses the individual Agoraphobia – housewives disease – fear going outside Zar spirit possession & Dhat Syndrome – worry about loss of semen in urine. Theorizing the Body: Anthropology of the Body Theorizing the Body Major theoretical approaches - Embodiment - Body theory - Mindful bodies Social Origins of body theory Durkheim: French sociologists 1800’s – 1900’s Social Facts: Durkheim - A science of society is possible. People act in patterned ways.. - The body is a “total social fact” (Mauss – Anthropologist) - The body is a reflection of culture - Patterned way of feeling, acting, and thinking. Functionalism  Anthro  organic model - society is like an organism/body  corpse  corpus (body) Embodiment “Bodily sensations are meditate by culture” (Mauss in Singer & Baer, 2007, p.86) Marcel Mauss: French Anthropologist (1900’s) & Nephew of Durkheim Culture shapes the body –we adapt our size, shape & appearance to norms. The body is shaped by culture, social movements, politics, etc. 1950’S Monroe/Mansfield – housewives less social power = larger women 1960’S  Twiggy – gaining political feminist power – smaller women, more child like (photographed to be insignificant as a rebuttal to wanting power) 1970’S, 80’S, 90’S  More severe continuation 2000’S -10’S  More “real body types” 1950’S  Man starts small gets larger as we progress into the 2010’S. Man becomes “Machine”. *Watch movie “Tough Guys” Body Theory: Biopower - See the history of sexuality (Foucault, 1976) - Humans are controlled and disciplined through various instruments  Ex. Medicine. Homosexuality - Disease - Knowledge of the body transformed into power over the body – bio power. Medical knowledge is about ‘population management.’ Medical Gaze is a way of seeing says the patient as a site of disease meant to be cured. The Impact of Biopower: The Medical Gaze & De-Humanism ** Do essay on HOUSE SER
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