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ANT100Y1 (959)
Tania Li (16)
Lecture 2

Lecture 2 - Illness Experience and Subjectivity - September 19.docx

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Department
Anthropology
Course
ANT100Y1
Professor
Tania Li
Semester
Fall

Description
September 19, 2013. Lecture 2 - Making the Strange Familiar: Illness Experience and Subjectivity  Basic premise of anthropology is “making the strange familiar and the familiar strange” o Taking something “different” or something we don’t understand and working towards understanding it and making it the same Health is Social  Scales of analysis, analytic entry points  Jain: making space for “agency and human materiality of suffering and death” o Uses own experiences and own life to examine social situations o Transgendered experience of health and physicality o Breasts for a transgendered men (or “butch” lesbians) can be very restrictive; gains specifically undesired attention, can’t wear masculine clothing comfortably, presents gender identity incorrectly, etc. o Breast removal due to health reasons; removing shirt in yoga class and potential issues (or lack thereof) to do with this:  Something conventionally private made public and social power in that action; doing it to bring attention to the issue?  For example; public displays of affection between homosexual couples in the 80s and 90s was shocking yet opened the doors to discussion on homosexual health  Is it still a problem if she is still female but doesn’t actually have breasts? Is this still a legal issue?  Potentially provoking a range of responses to such an action; what is ok to see and what isn’t? what is male and what is female?  Das and Das: make meaning out of illness experiences in the context of socialities and “local ecologies” of treatment  Berry: safe motherhood campaign is attempting to transform Mayan women’s subjectivities, from relational to autonomous  Anthropologists aim to challenge assumptions that neural chemistry is the same across all people, or experience of illness, etc.  “someone’s own understanding of his or her place in the world (…) an individual’s internal processes, dispositions, or understandings, as opposed to other people’s judgments or attributions about an individual” – Berry  Self-awareness and self-identity as constituted in a particular social and historical context and in dynamic relations with social relations and historical processes Discussion Questions  1. What does Jain mean by describing cancer as “the perfect capitalist disease”? What is “corporate pinkwashing”? o Cancer is so widely experienced by people, particularly consumers of North America; it’s hard to find people who haven’t either dealt with cancer themselves or had a close friend or relative who has o Companies make a terrible disease such as cancer marketable, branding everything with a pink ribbon and saying it’s for cancer, selling products under the name of cancer support and cancer donations o Corporate
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