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Doctors as Wounded Storytellers: Embodying the Physician and Gendering the Body
Uppsala University, Humanistisk-samhällsvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Faculty of Arts, Centre for Gender Research.
2005 (English)In: Body & Society, Vol. 11, no 1, 87-110 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this article, the focus is on physicians’ own experience of illness or handicap. The researcher asked young physicians to tell their life stories in order to study narrations of career uncertainty. She was surprised by how many of the narrators included in their stories and narrated selves the theme of illness. In this article, the researcher takes her own feeling of wonder as her starting point. She had not expected to hear illness narratives, and now she listens to the thoughts and feelings that her own body and mind readily attach to a physician’s vulnerability. Those thoughts and feelings originate in the (professional) culture that values autonomy more than bodily ties. Wondering, on the other hand, is a feeling that cherishes the difference of the other person, and a feeling that attempts to suspend the customary conceptual flow. From the viewpoint of sexual difference, the difference between the healthy and the ill is analogous to the dichotomy between man and woman, masculine and feminine. In wondering, difference is accentuated while an attempt is made to overcome the dichotomy. The other’s story is not compared to the masculine or feminine norm but the question is, how does this woman or this man tell her or his story so that it is appropriate to her or his gender and the body that is inescapably vulnerable?

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005. Vol. 11, no 1, 87-110 p.
Keyword [en]
embodied narrative • illness • physician • sexual difference
National Category
Gender Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-78661OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-78661DiVA: diva2:106574
Available from: 2006-03-28 Created: 2006-03-28 Last updated: 2011-01-11

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Löyttyniemi, Varpu
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