EMORY ANT 230 - Welcome to Cancerland Notes

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11/19 NotesWelcome to Cancerland Notes- Talks about breast cancer and the pink ribbon movement- pink is a blnd color- companies can brand themselves friends of the middle aged female market- breast cancer provides a way of doing something for women without being a feminist- Breast cancer pink culture is a perky cheerful culture- Huge emphasis on the survivor culture but not much on those who pass away from the breast cancer movement- Breast cancer has become a rite of passage movement- Criticizes if raising money through runs and races are effective- more to raise awareness since the money only covers the advertisement- Sole effect of early detection is to stretch out the time in which woman bears the knowledge of her condition- but most of that time is spent wasted on debilitating treatments and threat of death- The term survivor bothers some people b/c it denigrates the dead- did the ones who livefight harder than those who died? Are they braver or better? Why is there no gracious acceptance of death?- Breast cancer is somewhat paternalistic in the sense that women are told to be little girls hugging the little teddy bears and let others take care of them; too weakHunt Reading Notes: Strategic Suffering Illness Narratives as Social Empowerment among Mexican Cancer Patients- Patients create narratives about their illness experience and that these stories fulfill certain social and psychological functionso Illness narratives may thus respond to the disruption of identity introduced by chronic illness by generating a strategically revised identity, creating a new place in the social world that resolves conflicts and difficulties rooted in the broad context of the teller’s life. - Chronic illnesses not only disrupt an individuals’ life biologically but the illness also creates socialchanges- individual cannot continue living his normal life- Serious chronic illness is different- existential loss, a break from the usual rhythm of lifeo People struggle to reconstruct a sense of continuity of self and role responsibilities- performance of role- Sexual politics and cervical cancero Case study about a woman whose husband had sex with her 8 days after each child is delivered and she kept having miscarriages and pregnancieso She had her reproductive organs removed and thus used this as a resource into fealing with a long term conflict due to wifely role obligations of having sex Reconstructs her identity such that her rejection of her husband’s advances is normalized and legitimized - Family Obligation and Testicular Cancero Man was singlehandedly supporting large family with limited resources, develops testicular cancer that he thought if he removed, he could now work harder and be better but instead the surgery made him weaker—becomes a loss of strength and stamina and thus redefines his role in family. His family now forgives him for being crippled; he is able to fulfil Mexican expectations of trying to be a good son and man butta the same time as a role release- didn’t have to change his identity b/c he has an excuse- Both case studies invented illness narratives that exempt them from participation in certain prescribed behaviors which prior to illness had proved untenable for them. - ‘secondary gain’ – the interpersonal advantages that result when one as the symptom of a physical disease, including such things as increased attention from family members, financial gain, release from work/social obligationso Patients may have ulterior motives that may underlie their failure to get wello The disempowered have ways to make the world better for them- disempowered find and use whatever resources are available to them to gain some ability to deal with oppressive conditionsLECTURE NOTES- Sick Role- Talcott Parsons-in American culture- The idea that if you have a small disease- sick role- can be sick for the appropriate amount of time and then must come back to what your usual role is- but with cancer you are differento You give you the privileges given to the sicko The village of the sick- when you get cancer you are transferred to this world where everyone has the same labelo People’s lives absolutely change- Evolutionary medicineo Rapid raise in breast cancer can be due to evolutionary mis match- menarche and reproduction differences between the hunter gatherers and current populationo There are many multiple form of breast cancer- not a homogenous diseaseo Breast cancer you get at 40 is different from 65 Etiology is different- biologically different forms of how the cancer spreads or how it starts- Technology o Mammograms are the most common- some people think it can prevent cancer and some people think if you go you can’t get cancero Mammogram artificially extends your life compared to when you just waited for the symptoms-o There is no formula as to what you can do to prevent and or get cancero Previvors- those who remove risk so that they can prevent cancer in the future Criticism as to who can have the power to actually have this power- Cultures of Biomedicineo Medical personnel in Austria Demigods in white- you do what the doctor says, doctor is not here to hear what you think- very passive systemo Discourses of prevention- there are campaigns in Europe that promote diet as a way to keep breasts healthy- Inequalityo In the US there is inequality in US- whites have the highest incidences but blacks have the highest mortalities This is access to treatment, stress- best indicator is whether or not you have a car- we think of cancer has the rich man Western disease- chronic diseases happen after industrialization- We have a long way to go when it comes to leveling the playing field for better access to healthcareo Burden of breast cancer in Subsaharan African b/c no one talks about it- Illness experienceo Strategic suffering Based on the environment- can subvert it by using cancer to avoid culturally defined ideas In Austria, people use cancer as an excuse to cut people out of their lives and quit their jobs and change their lives- women will confront the people they thinkcaused them cancer and cut them out- This redefines their social centers- new identity Strategy to legitimize a new gender roleo The word “survivor” is hated in Austria b/c it has a stigma-taking away the reality- they don’t want the burden of being playful and cheerful as someone valiantly fighting the disease- medically and socially you are a survivor Even if you


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EMORY ANT 230 - Welcome to Cancerland Notes

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