10 - 1/7/10 ANTH166 How did cancer come to be viewed so...

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1/7/10 ANTH166 How did cancer come to be viewed so negatively? Dread and Excess of meaning Silence Diagnosis and treatment Control Metaphors of war Silence Naming and destruction 1. Power in the word 2. Many things are left unsaid 3. Shame 4. If nothing can be done “Why know?” Diagnosis and Treatment Difficulty in diagnosing Difficulty in finding causes – etiology Historical lack of treatment Etiology – causes of cancer Humoral theory – black bile (melanchole) Balancing the body Germs – lead to the idea of a specific etiology Worship of physicians, but also critique Decontextualization of disease Continual debate about the etiology Heredity Industrial civilization Mental and emotional stress “When thinking about issues of control, cancer is good to thinking with.” -M. Balshem
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Control Cancer is invasive, destruction, out of control “cells gone mad” Mary Douglas – “matter out of place” Rename it Physically control it
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10 - 1/7/10 ANTH166 How did cancer come to be viewed so...

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