AIDS and the Body Politic: Biomedicine and Sexual Difference by Catherine Waldby PDF

By Catherine Waldby

ISBN-10: 041514129X

ISBN-13: 9780415141291

This publication demonstates the level to which establis hed principles concerning the virus, the immune process, the HIV try out and the epidemiology of the affliction rely on unexamined, conservative assumptions approximately sexual identification and sexual distinction.

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Additional info for AIDS and the Body Politic: Biomedicine and Sexual Difference (Writing Corporealities)

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Armstrong 1983:2) This conclusion, that the body under the medical gaze acts as a representation of the anatomical atlas, rather than the reverse, might however be a little too hasty, propose too Aids and the body politic 26 simple a reverse causality. This is a question I will return to a little later in this chapter. For the moment I want to investigate some other implications of the proposition that biomedical knowledge is a form of representational practice, a kind of ‘science fiction’. This proposition implies that biomedical texts are, like all scientific and non-scientific texts, dependent upon the ambiguities and connotative forces of language.

Schiebinger’s history also provides a second sense in which the anatomical can be historicised. It is not just a question of certain social issues or questions being transformed into anatomical questions, but also of the process of production of skeletal images themselves. Schiebinger’s study, and also Daston and Galison’s (1992) study of the concept of ‘objectivity’ in the production of nineteenth-century anatomical images, indicates the extent to which anatomical images are produced as ‘ideal types’ of the object they wished to represent.

The two sexes can serve as models for the collaboration or distinctiveness of social units. So also can the processes of ingestion portray political absorption. Sometimes bodily orifices seem to represent points of entry and exit to social units, or bodily perfection can symbolise an ideal theocracy. (Douglas 1984:3–4) In the case of biomedical representation in our own society, however, these kinds of global analogies between bodies and social order tend to remain immanent. The potential for explicit comparison is maintained through the process of negative conjecture which I described above, where concepts of healthy functioning are proposed out of specific kinds of organ failure.

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AIDS and the Body Politic: Biomedicine and Sexual Difference (Writing Corporealities) by Catherine Waldby


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