Download e-book for iPad: AIDS and the Body Politic: Biomedicine and Sexual Difference by Catherine Waldby

By Catherine Waldby

ISBN-10: 041514129X

ISBN-13: 9780415141291

This ebook demonstates the level to which establis hed rules in regards to the virus, the immune approach, the HIV try and the epidemiology of the affliction rely on unexamined, conservative assumptions approximately sexual identification and sexual distinction.

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Extra info for AIDS and the Body Politic: Biomedicine and Sexual Difference (Writing Corporealities)

Sample text

In relation to AIDS politics the question then becomes, what are the political stakes involved in treating sexual identity categories as though they formed a natural basis of explanation for HIV transmission? What kind of power does this configuration of the nature/culture distinction deliver over to biomedical knowledge and what kind of social order does it help to naturalise? As with all conceptual dichotomies, the nature/culture distinction asserts an exhaustive opposition between its two terms, dividing up the world in a particular way.

The discourse of hygiene which was addressed to the control of infectious disease strived for an individuation of bodies, their separation in space and their self-containment, because infection was understood to take place when bodies exceed their proper borders and mingle with each other in various ways. This hygienic individuation involves the pathologisation of bodily orifices and body fluids, points of permeability and fluid excess that confuse the distinction between the body’s inside and outside.

The dominant and subordinated terms are simply positive and negative versions of each other, the dominant term defining its other by negation…the positive term gains its privilege only by disavowing its intimate dependence on its negative double. (Grosz 1989:27) Cast in these terms, the power relations specific to the nature/culture distinction derive precisely from the unacknowledged, indeed the actively repressed, implication of each term’s meaning in that of the other. While the strategies for displacing the truth effects of the nature/culture distinction discussed in this chapter do not conform to a rigorously deconstructive practice, what they have in common is a sensitivity to the exploitative economies operating in dichotomous logic.

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AIDS and the Body Politic: Biomedicine and Sexual Difference (Writing Corporealities) by Catherine Waldby


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