26-27 November 2015
Crowne Plaza Hotel Maastricht
6221 EW Maastricht
For most health and medical professionals “the body” functions as a taken for granted entry point for analyzing, imaging, screening, diagnosing, curing, caring, nursing, training, and feeding people. It is also often considered as different from, and even opposed to, “the psyche” which results in sharp distinctions between somatic and mental illnesses.
This biomedical idea of the body and its alleged mental counterpart has been put into question by both social constructivist oriented theories and phenomenological oriented theories.
Where the first underline that the meaning of the body is intrinsically related to cultural, social and economic context, and to power relations within the health care system, the latter explain in what sense people’s lived body experiences diverge from medical conceptions of soma and psyche.
While these two theoretical approaches are both crucial for reflecting on the meaning of the body in health and medicine, they are often seen as opposing and even mutually exclusive.
The aim of this workshop is to explore the meaning of the body at the intersection of these two approaches.
To this purpose we will discuss topical issues in contemporary health and medicine and examine how social and cultural contexts are decisive for the labeling of bodies in terms of being healthy, sick, disabled or enhanced, while simultaneously taking seriously the individual, material, and experienced body of patients and health the seekers.