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ERIC Number: EJ825439
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Dec
Pages: 24
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 38
ISSN: ISSN-1542-7587
Bringing the Body Back: The (Mis)Languaging of Bodies in Bio-Medical, Societal and Poststructuralist Discourses on Diabetes and Epilepsy
Ramanathan, Vaidehi; Makoni, Sinfree
Critical Inquiry in Language Studies, v4 n4 p283-306 Dec 2007
Recent scholarship on "disabilities" and bodies has tended to be extreme in its orientation and has, on the whole, not been able to speak of chronic disabilities and bodily breakdown in humanistic ways. In its verve toward finding "cures," biomedical discourses, from which societal discourses draw their strength, have emphasized malfunctioning body parts and have made little room for bodily breakdown. Likewise, some strains of poststructuralist discourses on bodies in their tendency to emphasize the performative aspects of bodies and to see experience as constantly under erasure, make little room for bodily breakdowns. Based on an evolving exploration that includes various kinds of data, this paper focuses on how two men living with chronic ailments, namely "type-1" diabetes and epilepsy, respectively, language their bodies and "disabilities." The paper argues for the need for applied linguistics in general and aging-related work in particular to bring the body back to where we can speak of it humanistically, to language the body and its breakdowns in ways that eschew both the dehumanizing rhetoric of biomedical discourses and the erasure of experiences as per some poststructuralist thought. However, in keeping with other strains of poststructuralist thinking, we sought to un-fix some "disability" interpretations by attempting to render them fluid. The paper also reflects on the extent to which we were successful, and the implications of such attempts on texting disability-related papers. (Contains 1 footnote.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A