Embodying otherness: The heterotopic body in cancer experience

  • Sarah Pini (Speaker)

    Activity: Talk or presentationPresentation


    Paper presented at the Australian Anthropological Society Annual Conference: 'Anthropocene Transitions' 2016


    The limits of the biomedical model of medicine and the need for a broader perspective able to encompass psychological, social, cultural and environmental etiological factors have been emphasized over the last decades. A prominent part of social suffering that permeates contemporary society in dealing with cancer is consistent with Western dichotomous ontology of disease. This work addresses cancer illness’ experience through a phenomenological approach and a direct personal experience. Cancer event shapes and is shaped by practices that are simultaneously enacted upon the body, its emotional mindful landscape, its network of relationships and its lived environment. Foucault’s concept of Heterotopia encompasses these spaces of otherness and represents a suitable topos to understand this complex event. This exploration provides support for rethinking the disease of the Other as embodied awareness in a more holistic and integrated perspective and supports the tendency towards a more interdisciplinary approach in health care.
    Period14 Dec 2016
    Event titleAustralian Anthropological Society Annual Conference 2016
    : Anthropocene Transitions
    Event typeConference
    LocationSydney, Australia, New South WalesShow on map
    Degree of RecognitionInternational