Hegemonic definitions, resistances and corporeal identities: Bodies from/against biomedical boundaries
Editors: Emma Gómez Nicolau (Universitat Jaume I) and Arantxa Grau Muñoz (Universitat de València)
Publication: April 2022
Languages: English, Spanish, Valencian
Perceptions and uses of the body correspond to both cultural parameters and historical contingencies. However, many of these endeavours to socially contextualise the body are premised on the understanding of the body as a natural fact. The body-organism is presented from the legitimating position of biological facts––anatomical, endocrinological, immunological, and so on––until it becomes a self-evident entity. Our interpretations and perceptions of the body, but also our image of its composition, are mediated by the biomedical sciences as legitimate devices for producing scientific knowledge about the body.
The feminist perspective on biomedical sciences has helped to uncover how this technological device invades the social construction of the body by denoting “sex” as the fundamental criterion to explain corporeal differentiation. “Sex” is described as an attribute of the body- organism that corresponds to biological and chemical principles, any variations in which are regarded as an anomaly and/or a pathology. Sex has become a technological device designed to explain and justify corporeal differentiation by highlighting differences (organs, hormones, etc.) and ignoring similarities. This process serves as a normative matrix in the decodification of these bodies. Male and female bodies must necessarily match the bimorphism determined by the biomedical sciences, anatomy loses its descriptive purpose to become a prescriptive science, and it reaches beyond the field of biomedical intervention to invade the sphere of social identity.
This edition of Recerca. Revista de Pensament i Análisi provides a space to explore approaches from sociology, philosophy, ethics and other related disciplines that analyse experiences and processes of this western hegemonic definition of the gendered body and how it affects social experiences and identities. We are especially interested in analysis of the processes of the diverse corporeal itineraries that resist, subvert and destabilise the hegemonic biomedical paradigm, and of the processes of corporeal decodification that contravene the hegemonic definitions of the gendered body.
We propose the following topics:
- Biomedical definitions of the body and biomedical practices in producing gender.
- Identity and biomedical interventions on the body: hormone treatment, surgery and other body modification techniques.
- The “hormonal factor”: hypervisibility, risks and attributions of hormones in configuring health and identities.
- The gendered body in health/illness processes.
- Bodies and fluids: gender signs and foundations for sexual bimorphism.