The Human Body as Field of Conflict Between Discourses
Kimsma, Gerrit K.
van Leeuwen, Evert
Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 2005; 26(6): 559-574
The approach to AIDS as a disease and a threat for social discrimination is used as an example to illustrate a conceptual thesis. This thesis is a claim that concerns what we call a medical issue or not, what is medicalised or needs to be demedicalised. In the friction between medicalisation and demedicalisation as discursive strategies the latter approach can only be effected through the employment of discourses or discursive strategies other than medicine, such as those of the law and of economics. These discourses each realise different values, promote a different subject, and have a different concept of man. The concept of discourse is briefly outlined against concepts such as the linear growth concept of science and the growth model of science as changes in paradigm. The issue of testing for AIDS shows a conflict between the medical and the legal discourse and illustrates the title of our contribution: the human body as field of conflict between discourses.
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