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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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(p.258) Conclusion
Fighting for Breath

Anna Lora-Wainwright

University of Hawai'i Press

This book has explored how attitudes about the body are produced and inform experiences of cancer. Focusing on Langzhong villagers, it has examined how bodily experience is configured and how families make sense of cancer. It has also situated cancer within a nexus of social, cultural, political, economic, historical, and moral settings. Drawing on the spirit of current medical anthropology, it has shown that experiences of cancer are “contingent formations,” culturally and historically specific, and “mutable.” It has explained how social suffering, a sense of injustice, and the search for moral subjectivity pervade practices of health care. It has provided examples to highlight the contingency of cancer etiologies and strategies adopted by contemporary Chinese villagers in the fight for breath against and through cancer. Finally, it has analyzed the cultural and social contexts in which villagers care for themselves and seek care from their families, and whether they are satisfied with the welfare provided by medical institutions and the state.

Keywords:   cancer, families, medical anthropology, social suffering, injustice, moral subjectivity, cancer etiologies, welfare, health care

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