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Author Amirault, Christopher T
Title The patient: Discourses of medicine, narratives of illness
book jacket
Descript 231 p
Note Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 57-12, Section: A, page: 5276
Supervisor: Jane Gallop
Thesis (Ph.D.)--The University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, 1996
This dissertation explores the place of the patient in post-WW II medicine and culture. The first chapter explores the relationship between medical discourse and illness narrative by tracing the function of storytelling within the literature of a peculiar psychiatric diagnosis, Munchausen syndrome. The chapter argues that this storytelling by both doctors and patients is itself a form of knowledge and asserts the tension between literature and medicine to be productive. The second chapter explores the relation between patients and persons by reading a set of powerful medical and sociological theories of the patient. While medical sociology has investigated how a person becomes a patient, medicine has used those theories to understand the person as a patient; in so doing, much medical sociology has been absorbed by the very discourse it would critique, and the practice of patient management has extended into the practice of everyday life. The third chapter describes the often fraught yet resonant relationship between psychiatry and cinema and argues that the collaboration presented a new type of psychiatric patient. Mental illness films from the 1940s indicate that Hollywood and the psychiatric profession established a compromise between the demands of classical cinematic narrative and psychiatric discourse by encouraging viewer identifications with the patient via an enticing cinematic narrative. The final chapter analyzes the dilemmas of doctors who themselves become patients. Caught between contradictory positions--the passive, ignorant, sick patient and the active, knowledgeable, hale doctor--these individuals try to articulate their dilemmas through illness narratives that reveal the inadequacies of medical discourse. By suggesting both the pervasiveness and the limitations of the position of the patient, this dissertation demands that we rethink how medical discourse theorizes the experiences of illness and how narratives of illness necessarily transform and exceed that discourse
School code: 0263
Host Item Dissertation Abstracts International 57-12A
Subject Literature, General
History of Science
Psychology, Clinical
Alt Author The University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
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