Disembodiment: The phenomenology of the body in medical examinations

Semiotica 73 (1-2):43-66 (1989)
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Abstract

In order to conduct medical examinations, physicians transform patients from social subjects into medical objects. The routines associated with conducting medical examinations constitute rituals for effecting this transformation: moving from public space to private space; changing into ritual costumes; taking up ritual positions in an examination room; conducting ritual verbal and physical examinations. The transformations endow participants with a different ontological status from the one they hold in everyday life. They address the phenomenological problem of how a self is inserted into a body.

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