The body in Western and Chinese medicine : discourses and practices


Abstract
This thesis is about the body and about how medical discourses conceptualise the body in health and in illness. However, any inquisitiveness about the body is determined by historical, social and political environment that nurtures the discursive formations of knowledge. I focus particularly on the conceptualisation of the body in the two distinct medical traditions of Western and Chinese medicine. I examine Michel Foucault's analysis on the medical gaze and on the external technologies of power deployed on the body of the individual and on the social body. The knowledge generated from the medical gaze is articulated through a normalising and prescriptive discourse. The gaze of Chinese medicine that looks at the workings of the cosmos to define the truth about the body generates similar authoritative knowledge that targets the individual and the social body. However, this effect of power, although it never disappears entirely, undergoes significant transformations when it enters the arena of human activities and the potential for improvisation in the behaviour of the human actor. There is always a gap between the text and the practice.
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References found in this work BETA

Phenomenology of Perception.Maurice Merleau-Ponty - 1962 - Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey: The Humanities Press.
The Dialectical Biologist.Richard Levins - 1985 - Harvard University Press.

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