Speaking from the Body Latinas on Health and Culture

ISBN-10: 0816526648

ISBN-13: 9780816526642

Edition: 2008

Authors: Angie Chabram-Dernersesian, Adela de la Torre

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In compelling first-person accounts, Latinas speak freely about dealing with serious health episodes as patients, family caregivers, or friends. They show how the complex interweaving of gender, class, and race impacts the health status of Latinasand how family, spirituality, and culture affect the experience of illness. Here are stories of Latinas living with conditions common to many: hypertension, breast cancer, obesity, diabetes, depression, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, dementia, Parkinsons, lupus, and hyper/hypothyroidism. By bringing these narratives out from the shadows of private lives, they demonstrate how such ailments form part of the larger whole of Latina lives that encompasses family, community, the medical profession, and society. They show how personal identity and community intersect to affect the interpretation of illness, compliance with treatment, and the utilization of allopathic medicine, alternative therapies, and traditional healing practices. The book also includes a retrospective analysis of the narratives and a discussion of Latina health issues and policy recommendations. These Latina cultural narratives illustrate important aspects of the social contexts and real-world family relationships crucial to understanding illness. Speaking from the Body is a trailblazing collection of personal testimonies that integrates professional and personal perspectives and shows that our understanding of health remains incomplete if Latina cultural narratives are not included.
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Book details

List price: $26.95
Copyright year: 2008
Publisher: University of Arizona Press
Publication date: 11/20/2008
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 264
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.50" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 1.012
Language: English

Angie Chabram-Dernersesian and Adela de la Torre are professors of Chicana/o Studies at the University of California at Davis. Professor Chabram-Dernersesian is the editor of The Chicana/o Cultural Studies Forum and The Chicana/o Cultural Studies Reader. Adela de la Torre is also the author of Mexican Americans and Health and Moving from the Margins: A Chicanas Voice on Public Policy, both published by the University of Arizona Press.

Introduction: Narratives of Latina Health
Of Breasts and Baldness: My Life with Cancer
Embodying Dementia: Remembrances of Memory Loss
Countering the Pain That Never Heals: Platicas That Mend the Soul
Letters to Ceci: A Journey from Hyperthyroidism to Hypothyroidism
Fat in America: A Latina's Personal Journey
A Language for Healing: Finding Sacred Meaning in Transcending Chronic Lupus
Debe ser la reuma/It Must Be Rheumatism
My Spirit in Rebellion, My Body with Parkinson's Disease: Soy soldadera rebelde
"I Wake Up and Go to Bed with Pills": An Anonymous Latina Speaks about the Not-So-Silent Killer (Hypertension)
A Tapestry of Illness: A Latina Physician's Family Gives Voice to Diabetes and Illness
"Working toward Wholeness": Gloria Anzaldua's Struggles to Live with Diabetes and Chronic Illness
When the Joys of Pregnancy Bring a Shocking Discovery: A Latina Epidemiologist Confronts Gestational Diabetes
A Retrospective on the Narratives of Latina Health: What We Can Learn
Latina Health: Empirical Realities, Alternative Interpretations, and Policy Recommendations
References and Further Reading
About the Editors
About the Contributors
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