Flexible Bodies: Tracking Immunity in American Culture from the Days of Polio to the Age of AIDS

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Beacon Press, 1994 - Health & Fitness - 320 pages
Emily Martin traces Americans' changing ideas about health and immunity since the 1940s. She explores the implications of our emphasis on "flexibility" in contexts from medicine to the corporate world, warning that we may be approaching a new form of social Darwinism.
 

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FLEXIBLE BODIES: Tracking Immunity in American Culture--from the Days of Polio to the Age of AIDS

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An anthropologist's erudite report on how our ideas about the body (and society) are undergoing a dramatic shift. Martin (Anthropology/Johns Hopkins; The Woman in the Body, 1987) and her research ... Read full review

Contents

The Body at War Media Views of the Immune System
49
Immunology on the Street How Nonscientists See the Immune System
64
Fix My Head How Alternative Practitioners See the Immune System
82
Immunophilosophy How Scientists See the Immune System
91
CONFIGURATIONS OF HEALTHY BODIES
113
Complex Systems
115
System Breakdown Dying from Within
127
Flexible Systems
143
Educating and Training the Body Vaccines and Tests
193
Educating and Training at Work
207
POSTDARWINISM
227
The Neighborhoods
251
The People We Interviewed
255
Questions for Neighborhood Interviews
263
NOTES
267
REFERENCES
285

PRACTICUMS
161
Interpreting Electron Micrographs
167
Saturation
183

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Page 7 - Our language can be seen as an ancient city: a maze of little streets and squares, of old and new houses, and of houses with additions from various periods; and this surrounded by a multitude of new boroughs with straight regular streets and uniform houses.
Page xvii - ... therapeutic purposes), toward projecting risk factors that deconstruct and reconstruct the individual or group subject. This new mode anticipates possible loci of dangerous irruptions, through the identification of sites statistically locatable in relation to norms and means. Through the use of computers, individuals sharing certain traits or sets of traits can be grouped together in a way that not only decontextualizes them from their social environment but also is nonsubjective in a double...
Page 40 - Improved systems of communication and information flow, coupled with rationalizations in techniques of distribution (packaging, inventory control, containerization, market feedback, etc.), make it possible to circulate commodities through the market system with greater speed

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