Article ID: CBB740927581

Loose Attitudes: Politics of Self-Knowledge in Our Bodies, Ourselves and The House of God (2023)

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Readers of Samuel Shem’s medical satire The House of God (1978) have long worried about the bad attitude of his main characters: young male internal medicine trainees. This article examines the interns’ atrocious affections, using the feminist classic Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973) as a counterweight to the masculinist perspective of House of God. These radically different critiques of United States medicine derive from a shared sociopolitical context and represent a historically specific response to the personal politics of sexual liberation and self-actualization in the 1970s. I show that Shem and the Boston Women’s Health Book Collective share a rhetorical strategy of “loose expertise” grounded in embodied knowledge, which connects both texts to the radical social movements of the late 1960s. Loose expertise enables institutional critique by shifting the domain of knowledge away from traditional structures of authority, but inhibits intersectional critique by essentializing the individual subject position of the author. The article concludes by examining the relationship of both texts to the medical humanities.

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Article Jacob D Moses; Agnes Arnold-Forster; Samuel V Schotland (2023) Introduction: Healthcare Practitioners’ Emotions and the Politics of Well-Being in Twentieth Century Anglo-America. Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences (pp. 341-351). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Rippa-Bonati, Maurizio
Clarke, John
Henderson, Metta Lou
Kuokkanen, Anna
Marinozzi, Silvia
Menand, Louis
Journals
Canadian Bulletin of Medical History/Bulletin Canadienne d'Histoire de la Medecine
Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences
Medicina nei Secoli - Arte e Scienza
Medicina Historica
Configurations: A Journal of Literature, Science, and Technology
Contemporary European History
Publishers
CLEUP
Concepts
Medical education and teaching
Medicine and society
Emotions; passions
Medicine
Medical humanities
Physicians; doctors
People
Freud, Sigmund
Premuda, Loris
Tuve, Merle Antony
Clot, Antoine-Barthélémy
Time Periods
20th century, late
21st century
20th century
19th century
20th century, early
Places
United States
Canada
Italy
United Kingdom
Institutions
Qasr Al-Ayni
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