Communication Studies and Feminist Perspectives on Ovarian Cancer
Dinah A. Tetteh
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Geisteswissenschaften, Kunst, Musik / Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaft
Communication Studies and Feminist Perspectives on Ovarian Cancer examines the embodied experience of ovarian cancer by critically analyzing impacts of normative social and medical discourses—including discourses of risk, choice, early detection, lack of reliable screening tests for ovarian cancer, feminine beauty, and self-advocacy—on women’s communicative responses to the disease and treatments. It argues that these discourses help discredit some ovarian cancer experiences, encourage a one-dimensional perspective on the disease, and divert attention from larger issues such as society’s disregard for women’s complaints about disease symptoms. Blanket promotion of these discourses essentializes women’s experiences of the disease, pointing out how normative beliefs about women’s health and illness are often flipped and repackaged as standard language to discuss women’s experiences.
Using interview data and scholarly work from communication studies, feminist studies, critical/cultural studies, anthropology, critical psychology, and other disciplines, this book suggests we give equal importance to personal experiences and medical/scientific research to advance knowledge about ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer is a disease specific to women; as such, women’s experiences cannot be minimized in attempts to understand the disease.