By Catherine Waldby
This e-book demonstates the level to which establis hed rules concerning the virus, the immune approach, the HIV attempt and the epidemiology of the affliction depend upon unexamined, conservative assumptions approximately sexual identification and sexual distinction.
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Additional info for AIDS and the Body Politic: Biomedicine and Sexual Difference (Writing Corporealities)
At a general level this term refers to biomedicine’s speculative universe, its ways of proposing relationships and processes, of imagining the world according to its own requirements and interests. I have elected to use the term imagination in order to stress its fantasising, imagic qualities, the qualities it is at greatest pains to repress. The aspect of this imagination which I focus on is the ways in which it imagines social order and its historical transformations, the ways that it converts these imaginings into the ‘technical’ language and imagery of science.
Then I will consider how sexed bodies, the loci of naturalised ideas of sexual identity, can be located in historical processes, both subject to social transformation and the subjects and objects of historical contestation. Finally I will reconsider the relationship between biomedicine and sexed bodies as a political practice through a consideration of the normalising function of the biomedical distinction between health and illness, and the powers of corporeal intervention this gives to biomedicine.
It is for this reason that anatomical representation, and the clinical practice it enables, can never be disentangled from a culturally and historically specific normativity, an ideal of perfection. As Canguilhem demonstrates, it is impossible to have a science of the pathological without a science of the normal, the physiological. Pathology can only be figured as various kinds of departure from a concept of the healthy functioning of bodies. While this distinction is generally expressed in quantitative terms in biomedical discourse, as deficit or excess of physiological function, it always involves a positive, qualitative concept of health.
AIDS and the Body Politic: Biomedicine and Sexual Difference (Writing Corporealities) by Catherine Waldby