Yardley, L. (ed.)
Material discourses of health and illness,
London, Routledge, 256pp.
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Material Discourses of Health and Illness applies discursive approaches to the field of health psychology, in stark contrast to the bio-medical model of health and illness. The discursive approach uses the person's experience and feelings as the central focus of interest, whereas the more traditional models regarded this as coincidental and relatively unimportant.
Lucy Yardley explores the way in which the meaning, context and consequences of bodily phenomena, ranging from sex to heart disease, are created and transformed by human activity. While the significance of bodily sensations and events is discursively negotiated, the material dimension of health is simultaneously shaped by government policy and media images, by the introduction of tests and treatment regimes, and by the promotion or prohibition of certain kinds of behavior.
The book provides practical examples of how discursive approaches can be applied to the field of health psychology, ranging from eating behavior and childbirth, to dialysis, deafness and AIDS. Each chapter explains and justifies a different approach, reflecting on its practical utility as well as its limitations.
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