Embodied Domestics, Embodied Politics: Women, Home, and Agoraphobia

Human Studies 34 (1):1-21 (2011)
Abstract
Agoraphobia is commonly considered to be a fear of outside, open, or crowded spaces, and is treated with therapies that work on acclimating the agoraphobic to external places she would otherwise avoid. I argue, however, that existential phenomenology provides the resources for an alternative interpretation and treatment of agoraphobia that locates the problem of the disorder not in something lying beyond home, but rather in a flawed relationship with home itself. More specifically, I demonstrate that agoraphobia is the lived body expression of a person who has developed an inward-turning tendency with respect to being-at-home, and who finds herself, as a result, vulnerable and even incapacitated when attempting to emerge into the public arena as a fully participatory agent. I consider this thesis in light of the fact that since World War I agoraphobia has been diagnosed significantly more in women than in men; indeed, one study found women to be 89% more likely than men to suffer from agoraphobia. I conclude that agoraphobia is a disorder that stands as an emblematic expression of the ongoing pathology of being a woman in contemporary society–a disorder that reflects that even today women belong to a political world in which they are not able to feel properly at-home
Keywords Agoraphobia  Existential phenomenology  Existential health  Lived body  Gender  Agency  Being-at-home
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s10746-011-9172-2
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 30,370
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Phenomenology of Perception.Maurice Merleau-Ponty - 1962 - Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey: The Humanities Press.
The Absent Body.Drew Leder - 1990 - University of Chicago Press.

View all 15 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Added to PP index
2011-02-24

Total downloads
35 ( #151,259 of 2,193,782 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #290,980 of 2,193,782 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature