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Embodying Liminality: The Disruptive Potentialities of Medically Unexplained and In/Visible Chronic Illness

Boulton, Tiffany Nicole (2016) Embodying Liminality: The Disruptive Potentialities of Medically Unexplained and In/Visible Chronic Illness. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Abstract

This thesis explores how fluctuating, ambiguous, and medically unexplained illnesses might be quintessentially postmodern conditions that disrupt taken-for-granted medical and socio-cultural classifications. Drawing on qualitative interviews with people with the “contested” diagnosis of Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS), I offer the concept of embodying liminality to describe the disruptive possibilities of embodiment that resists containment and instead resides in the liminal space in-between health/illness, dis/ability, in/visibility, and absence/presence. Situating this analysis within a broader context of neoliberalism and disablism/ableism, I argue that the liminal embodied experiences of people with unexplained, contested, and in/visible illnesses might provide a critique of the increasing pressure we are all under to embody and enact narrow cultural ideals of healthiness, fitness, and competence. Ultimately, this thesis hopes to contribute to the deconstruction of damaging dichotomous categories and the harmful illusion of the invulnerable and perfect(able) body, and to reveal the liberating potentialities of embracing the fluid spectrum of embodiment.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law (Leeds) > School of Sociology and Social Policy (Leeds)
Depositing User: Ms Tiffany N. Boulton
Date Deposited: 31 Oct 2016 11:30
Last Modified: 31 Oct 2016 11:30
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/15268

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