Chapter

Introduction

David B. Morris

in Illness and Culture in the Postmodern Age

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 1998 | ISBN: 9780520208698
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520926240 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520208698.003.0001
Introduction

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This book explores the changing relationship between culture and biology as they reconfigure our experience of illness. Illness has changed in the last fifty years, during the transition from modern to postmodern times. Postmodern illness—the term for our changed and still changing experience of human affliction—is as distinctive as the films, cars, computers, and space shuttles that help define the era following World War II. Setting aside the questions about the value of grand narratives, this chapter argues that we can best grasp what makes postmodern illness distinctive by examining various specific instances where biology and culture converge. In the process, we may come to look somewhat differently upon the quest to live forever.

Keywords: culture; biology; illness; postmodern illness; immortality

Chapter.  6790 words. 

Subjects: Medical Anthropology

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