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Loathed and falling limbs :

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Loathed and falling limbs :

Ashton, Claire (2008) Loathed and falling limbs :. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

This thesis explores unique problems of embodiment with particular emphasis on the desire for radical transformations of the self by disembodiment. Based on 10 interviews with informants, major focus is paid to 4 who identify as having Body Integrity Identity Disorder (BIID: the compelling sense that one is "trapped" in their fully able embodiment as is meant to be disabled) and an interview with a leading plastic surgeon, the coordinator of psychology at a correctional institute and a professional body modifier. This permits a triangulation of different practical and ideological perspectives, often mutually conflicting. These matters can be theororized through the work of Kristeva, Baudrillard and Butler. The body is a metaphor for society and these theorists of abjection and the relations between self and society offer some insights into these embodiment troubles (e.g. the desire for amputation or paralysis). The number of people suffering from somatoform disorders like Body Dysmorphic Disorder, BIID and Gender Identity Disorder seems to be increasing, along with the dramatic number of people accessing cosmetic surgery. These phenomena may reflect the embodiment deficit, to use Niemeyer's (2007) term: reflecting the desire for extreme physical engagements, to belong to or create a new identity, to experience a new reality, or as the transference of psycho-sexual trauma onto the limb(s) in question. The diagnosis of BIID is highly controversial: a neurological problem, perhaps, or psychological due to developmental issues, or social, facilitated by the internet. This thesis attempts to clarify this identity as meaningful to observers as it is to respondents.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Sociology and Anthropology
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Ashton, Claire
Pagination:vi, 99 leaves : ill. (some col.) ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Sociology and Anthropology
Date:2008
Thesis Supervisor(s):Synnott, Anthony
ID Code:976077
Deposited By: Concordia University Library
Deposited On:22 Jan 2013 16:19
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:41
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