HLTC02H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 9&10: Cervical Cancer, Vulvovaginal Health, Cardiovascular Disease

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13 Apr 2012
Chapter 9:
Cultures of Dis/ability: From Being Stigmatized to Doing Disability
- “Health” is an evolving concept and cannot be easily measured and quantified
- “Women’s health” maintains the hierarchical health/illness binary which disability scholars and
activists find problematic
o Under this binary, disability is understood as something that needs to be fixed or as
lacking just like illness lacks health
- Disability isn’t only an embodied and relational experience but also a socio-cultural and political
- Stigma contributes the emergence of disability studies and disability rights activism
- Disability is seen as a category of identity and is best approached through an interdisciplinary
Stigma and Stigmatization
- Social information: information a person directly conveys about him/herself
- According to Goffman, stigma: the situation of a person who is disqualified from full social
o He believes that stigma is not based on certain fixed qualities that remain the same
across time and culture, but rather on historical categorizations of difference
- Stigma is not a consequence of a fixed attribute for ex, a face without a nose but rather a
consequence of social relations for ex, the person without a nose in relation to others.
- Stigma theories: ideologies that rationalize the practices of stigmatization i.e., the person
without a nose is that way because he/she is being punished for his/her sins
- Goffman distinguished between ‘virtual social identity’ [normative expectations/assumptions
made about a person’s identity by others] and ‘actual social identity’ [the actual attributes a
person possesses]
- Not all stigma is visible; for ex, homosexuality, a history of mental illness, criminal past,
HIV/AIDS, deafness, learning and developmental disabilities, etc.
- Stigmatized people are more conscious of their situations than are “normal” people
Chapter 10: Negotiating Sexualities in Women’s Health care
Health care providers often make assumptions, a situation that can place clients at risk
As clients, women face systemic barriers that construct lesbians and bisexual women as errors
of classification within ‘juridico-medical discourses’
Communication between health care providers and their lesbian and bisexual clients is critical
juncture where sexual identity, not just health care needs are therefore negotiated
Vulnerability is amplified when the experience of being a lesbian or bisexual is compound by
multiple discrimination incurred as a result of other identities based on minority status
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