Fracture: Adventures of a Broken Body

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Policy Press, Apr 25, 2007 - Medical - 186 pages
The starting point of Ann Oakley's fascinating book is the fracture of her right arm in the grounds of a hotel in the USA. What begins as an accident becomes a journey into some critical themes of modern Western culture: the crisis of embodiment and the perfect self; the confusion between body and identity; the commodification of bodies and body parts; the intrusive surveillance and profiteering of medicine and the law; the problem of ageing; and the identification of women, particularly, with bodies - from the intensely ambiguous two-in-one state of pregnancy to women's later transformation into unproductive, brittle skeletons. Fracture mixes personal experience (the author's and other people's) with 'facts' derived from other literatures, including the history of medicine, neurology, the sociology of health and illness, philosophy, and legal discourses on the right to life and people as victims of a greedy litigation system. The book's genre spans fiction/non-fiction, autobiography and social theory.

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This is a wonderful book. It explores in in the most amazing depth the meaning of the author's broken elbow. It should be compulsory reading for anyone concerned in patient experience and outcomes.


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Nervous disorder
Right hands
The daily drama of the body
7 Old bones
Two in one
Accidental bodies

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About the author (2007)

Ann Oakley, Director, Social Science Research Unit, University of London Institute of Education

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