Chapter

What is Postmodern Illness?

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/9780520208698.003.0003
What is Postmodern Illness?

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The search for postmodern illness begins with a curious fact: almost every era seems marked by a distinctive illness that defines or deeply influences it. Increased affluence and longevity in the developed world have confronted nations with a growing host of so-called lifestyle illnesses associated with high-fat diets, cigarette smoke, stressful jobs, disintegrating families, and a couch-potato mentality. The workplace has become for many people a building that hermetically seals in recycled air containing petrochemical residues from furnishings and supplies. We live amid electronic appliances, spend four hours a day watching television, and eat meat produced on industrial farms where animals never see the sun. The prevailing conditions of post-modem life have changed significantly in ways that might well affect human health.

Keywords: lifestyle illnesses; couch potato; postmodern life; electronic appliances; human health

Chapter.  9706 words. 

Subjects: Medical Anthropology

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