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Fighting for BreathLiving Morally and Dying of Cancer in a Chinese Village$
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Anna Lora-Wainwright

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780824836825

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824836825.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM HAWAII SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.hawaii.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Hawaii University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in HSO for personal use.date: 26 October 2021

Xiguan, Consumption, and Shifting Cancer Etiologies

Xiguan, Consumption, and Shifting Cancer Etiologies

(p.144) Chapter 5 Xiguan, Consumption, and Shifting Cancer Etiologies
Fighting for Breath

Anna Lora-Wainwright

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter examines the relationship between cancer, consumption practices (including eating in general, smoking, drinking, and consuming preserved vegetables), and health more generally by focusing on the case of a sufferer named Gandie. More specifically, it considers how esophagus cancer was experienced by and affected Gandie's family and how various etiologies are adopted in his case. It uses the locally prevalent concept of xiguan (habit) to make sense of bodily habits that are at once stable and flexible and produced through everyday practices. It suggests that particular cancer etiologies are adopted when it is morally feasible and productive, which explains why attribution of cancer to particular causes changes in the course of illness and after death. The chapter also discusses cancer epidemiology from an anthropological perspective by highlighting the connections between diet, lifestyle, and mortality.

Keywords:   cancer, consumption, health, esophagus cancer, xiguan, cancer etiologies, illness, death, eating

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