'Recalcitrant Bodies'? Children, Cancer and the Transgression of Corporeal Boundaries

Williams, Simon J and Bendelow, Gillian (2000) 'Recalcitrant Bodies'? Children, Cancer and the Transgression of Corporeal Boundaries. Health, 4 (1). pp. 51-71. ISSN 1363-4593

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Located within the context of recent debates about the body as both a material and socially constructed entity, this article takes up these corporeal issues through a focus on childrens images and depictions of cancer. Key themes here include monstrous/demonic bodies, dys-figured/absent bodies, the combustible body, pathological bodies and mortal bodies. Under-pinning these representations, it is suggested, is a view of the primordial body as a `recalcitrant, `transgressive entity; something with a `will of its own which, despite our best efforts, can go horribly wrong. A focus on issues of corporeal transgression, therefore, throws into critical relief the relationship between the material and the cultural, the physical and the social, the rational and the emotional. Explorations of malignant bodies, however culturally constituted, lie at the heart of this dialectic. The article concludes with a series of reflections on these issues, including the notion of children as active agents, the relationship between lay and scientific knowledge, and a view of the material body which is not only shaped by social relations, but enters into their very construction and transgression, as both a resource and constraint, a limit and opportunity.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Sociology
Depositing User: Gillian Bendelow
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 21:07
Last Modified: 25 Apr 2012 10:10
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/29679
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