Illness and Culture in the Postmodern Age

ISBN-10: 0520226895
ISBN-13: 9780520226890
Edition: 2000
Authors: David B. Morris
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Description: We become ill in ways our parents and grandparents did not, with diseases unheard of and treatments undreamed of by them. Illness has changed in the postmodern era--roughly the period since World War II--as dramatically as technology,  More...

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Book details

List price: $33.95
Copyright year: 2000
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 8/30/2000
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 345
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.034

We become ill in ways our parents and grandparents did not, with diseases unheard of and treatments undreamed of by them. Illness has changed in the postmodern era--roughly the period since World War II--as dramatically as technology, transportation, and the texture of everyday life. Exploring these changes, David B. Morris tells the fascinating story, or stories, of what goes into making the postmodern experience of illness different, perhaps unique. Even as he decries the overuse and misuse of the term "postmodern," Morris shows how brightly ideas of illness, health, and postmodernism illuminate one another in late-twentieth-century culture. Modern medicine traditionally separates disease--an objectively verified disorder--from illness--a patient's subjective experience. Postmodern medicine, Morris says, can make no such clean distinction; instead, it demands abioculturalmodel, situating illness at the crossroads of biology and culture. Maladies such as chronic fatigue syndrome and post-traumatic stress disorder signal our awareness that there are biocultural ways of being sick. The biocultural vision of illness not only blurs old boundaries but also offers a new and infinitely promising arena for investigating both biology and culture. In many waysIllness and Culture in the Postmodern Ageleads us to understand our experience of the world differently.

List of Illustrations
Introduction: How to Live Forever
The Country of the Ill
What Is Postmodern Illness?
The White Noise of Health
Reinventing Pain
Utopian Bodies
Neurobiology and the Obscene
The Plot of Suffering
Illness in the Time of Disney
Conclusion: Narrative Bioethics
Notes
Index

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