Vaidehi Ramanathan: Bodies and Language: Health, Ailments, Disabilities

Multilingual Matters, 2013

Book cover and title

The role of language in our collective construction of ‘normal’ bodies is explored critically in this book. Addressing a range of concerns linked with visible and invisible, chronic and terminal conditions, the volume probes issues in and around patient and caregiver accounts. Focusing on body conditions associated with breast cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, (type-1) diabetes, epilepsy, partial hearing and autism, Professor Vaidehi Ramanathan draws on a range of critical theories to contest collectively assembled notions of "abnormality," "disability" and "impairments."

The book also addresses the need for applied sociolinguists to take account of how our researching practices — the texts we produce, the orientations we assume, the theoretical grounds from which we proceed — create "meanings" about bodies and "normalcy," and the importance of remaining ever vigilant and civically responsible in what we do or claim to do.