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Foucalt and Turner

Foucault ends his most famous book, Discipline and Punish, with an invitation: “At this point I end a book that must serve as a historical background to various studies of the power of normalization and the formation of knowledge in modern society.” I would like you to use The Birth of the Clinic and The Body & Society as a “historical background” to a discussion of the power of normalization and the formation of knowledge in the field of integrative health science. For this assignment, you should choose an example from the modern discourses surrounding health/disease/sickness and the body. Both Foucault and Turner discusses the ways in which the body is controlled and disciplined regarding norms of health, disease and sickness. You should therefore relate your example to a concept, theme or idea from Foucault and/or Turner and argue for how the literature can inform a critical understanding of modern discourses on the body.[1]

The important thing is that you choose a topic that you are familiar with, so that you can focus your energy on applying the concept you have chosen. Your paper should include:

An introduction, where you present your intent with the paper. Describe what it is you want to discuss, i.e. your example and the concept you want to apply. Also, discuss why this is important/interesting. The presentation of your example should give the reader knowledge about the topic of the paper. End the introduction with a definition of the concept you want to apply.

Thereafter you should present your analysis. Show how the concept you use can shed light on your example. What kind of new knowledge does this produce? How? Make sure that your discussion is closely related to the literature (as you are primarily graded on your ability to understand – and present this understanding in text – the course literature). My advice is that you focus on a specific topic or concept from the literature, a too general discussion risks becoming muddy and unfocused.

End your paper with a short reflection on the analysis. Did it work out as you imagined? Especially with Foucault, the concepts might show some discrepancies as they were constructed to analyze historical examples, not modern-day practices.

The length of the paper should be 3-4 pages (no more than 4 pages). Use the reference style that you are most comfortable with (i.e. Oxford, Harvard, APA). Use Times New Roman (or equivalent), 1,5 spacing, and normal margins. Upload your paper as .doc, .docx or .pdf.

[1] If you have a hard time coming up with an example to discuss, you might feel inspired by some of the topics discussed previous semester: (a) The clinical gaze and medical examinations, (b) Power and the regulation of HIV-patients, (c) Discipline and the body of professional athletes, (d) Somatic culture and the creation of the “black/racialized body” in American health care, and, lastly, (g) The presentation of the healthy body in popular media. These are just examples to show you that there exists a wide range of possible topics for you to choose from. Feel free to choose your own!

Taidot: Tutkimusten kirjoitus, Tutkimus, terveys, Lääketieteellinen kirjoittaminen, Lääketieteellinen

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