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

By Catherine Waldby

ISBN-10: 041514129X

ISBN-13: 9780415141291

This booklet demonstates the level to which establis hed rules concerning the virus, the immune process, the HIV attempt and the epidemiology of the illness rely on unexamined, conservative assumptions approximately sexual identification and sexual distinction.

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

Sample text

It makes things up. Its figurative strategies are constitutive of the objects whose essence they describe’ (Vasseleu 1991:60). The coherence of the biomedically specified body is not simply ‘discovered’ or represented, but to some extent engendered by biomedical practice. This claim involves a further challenge to the nature/culture distinction, because it is based on the proposition that bodies can be located in the domains of history and cultural practice, rather than contained in the stability and inertia of the natural.

Images recur within a logical system because, she writes, ‘they sustain something within the system which the system cannot itself justify, but which is nevertheless needed for its proper working’ (Le Doeuff 1989:3). Metaphors are simultaneously functional for a system and excessive to it. Le Doeuff goes on to suggest that metaphoric performance within a learned text is, at least to some extent, complicit with what she calls the discourse’s ‘theoretical enterprise’, its projects, its The Biomedical imagination and the anatomical body 29 attempts to secure its authority and shape the world in its own image.

I have already suggested that biomedicine ‘anatomises’ culture. What I mean by this is that biomedical knowledge constructs its representations of bodies according to ideas about social order. The term ‘anatomy’ is peculiarly suggestive of what I am trying to get at in this statement because it carries a double significance. On the one hand it designates the biomedical practices of bodily mapping, of producing both cartographic and narrative representations of the body’s physiology and micro-physiology, the medical subdiscipline known as ‘anatomy’.

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


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