The Embodiment Theoroy, Holistic Approach and Breast Cancer in the South African Context

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THE EMBODIMENT THEORY, THE HOLISTIC APPROACH AND BREAST CANCER IN THE SOUTH AFRICAN CONTEXT
In this paper I will discuss, in some brief length and detail, a few ways in which the perspective of embodiment, using the four bodies of the SOCL1016 course, enables doctors (including the many other types of health care practitioners) and patients to better comprehend and holistically intervene in cases of cancer of the breast. I will also attempt to outline some of the strengths and the weaknesses, if not the challenges, of the theory of embodiment via the referral to South African and generic examples mentioned in various readings, articles and those of the guest lecturer, Renee Van der Wiel (April,15th, 2014)
The definition of embodiment, by some consensus of online users, as according to The Online Free Dictionary (2014) is “the act of embodying or the state of being embodied or being a body that embodies”; although as according to our lectures delivered by Kezia Lewins (April, 2014), embodiment is the relationship between the mind and the body, and the relationship between the individual (the self) and the general society in which the body lives. Nancy Scheper-Hughes and Margaret M. Lock, in a 1987 paper that they wrote, proclaim a theory of embodiment that has three separate bodies: the individual body (which is understood to be the actual individual self), the social body (which represents the simultaneous interaction between the individual and society and how that society is affected by the individual) and the body politic (which demonstrates how various governments and authorities try to control not only the movement of the bodies of individuals but also the behaviour of those bodies). On the other hand, Jones (2011) says that ...

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• Jones. N.L. 2011. “Bioethics Embodied Ethics: From the Body as Specimen and Spectacle to Body as Patient” in Mascia-Lees. F.E. A Companion to the Anthropology of the Body and Embodiment. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell (pages 72-85)
• Csordas. T.J. 1994. “Introduction: the body as representation and being in the world” in Embodiment and Experience: The existential ground of culture and self” Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (pages1-24)
• Cobb. S. and Starr. S. 2012. “Breast cancer, breast surgery, and the makeover metaphor” in Social Semiotics, Vol. 22 No.1 (pages83-101)
• Renee van der wiel, Guest lecture at the University of the Wit Watersrand, Breast Cancer: South African Example, April 2014.
• Van der Wiel. R. 2013. ‘”I am happy with one”: Re-evaluating the relationship between gender, breast cancer surgery, and survival’ in Agenda, Vol.27, No.4 (pages 55-64)

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