Entering the Village of the Sick

in The Power of the Between

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2008 | ISBN: 9780226775340
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226775364 | DOI:
Entering the Village of the Sick

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  • Social and Cultural Anthropology


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This chapter presents the author's thoughts about the village of the sick. He says that the path to a diagnosis of cancer, which is a path that leads you to the village of the sick, presents severe challenges to immunological thinking. For one thing, the path toward diagnosis erases certainty from life. Just the possibility of developing a serious illness like cancer throws you into a fast-moving stream the current of which takes you to an unknown destination. Illness is no longer a nuisance that is brought to a quick end through pharmacological or medical intervention. Illness, rather, consumes your physical and emotional life with pain, uncertainty, and chaos. Situated in the between, the clarity of the immunological world that constitutes the village of the healthy fades away.

Keywords: cancer; sickness; illness

Chapter.  2789 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social and Cultural Anthropology

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