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Title: Corporal diagnostic work and diagnostic spaces: Clinicians' use of space and bodies during diagnosis
Authors: Gardner, J
Williams, C
Keywords: Body work;Diagnosis;Embodiment;Neurosciences;Space
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Citation: Sociology of Health and Illness, pp. 1-17, 2015
Abstract: An emerging body of literature in sociology has demonstrated that diagnosis is a useful focal point for understanding the social dimensions of health and illness. This article contributes to this work by drawing attention to the relationship between diagnostic spaces and the way in which clinicians use their own bodies during the diagnostic process. As a case study, we draw upon fieldwork conducted with a multidisciplinary clinical team providing deep brain stimulation (DBS) to treat children with a movement disorder called dystonia. Interviews were conducted with team members and diagnostic examinations were observed. We illustrate that clinicians use communicative body work and verbal communication to transform a material terrain into diagnostic space, and we illustrate how this diagnostic space configures forms of embodied 'sensing-and-acting' within. We argue that a 'diagnosis' can be conceptualised as emerging from an interaction in which space, the clinician-body, and the patient-body (or body-part) mutually configure one another. By conceptualising diagnosis in this way, this article draws attention to the corporal bases of diagnostic power and counters Cartesian-like accounts of clinical work in which the patient-body is objectified by a disembodied medical discourse.
Description: © 2015 The Authors. Sociology of Health & Illness © 2015 Foundation for the Sociology of Health & Illness/John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
ISSN: 0141-9889
Appears in Collections:Dept of Social Sciences Media and Communications Research Papers

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