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COMPARATIVE CRITICAL REVIEW Comparative critical review of Whose body is this? by Susan Bordo and Hospitalization and AIDS by Linda Singer Both articles offer an untraditional and a somewhat challenging approach towards diseases taken as objects for the case studies. Anorexia nervosa and AIDS are viewed not in terms of medicine and biological perspective, which have a monopoly over illnesses. They are analyzed as a sociocultural factor; in first case reasons of disease are viewed as culturally shaped, in second the psychological state of patients and phenomenon of hospital without borders take place. In addition to it, both articles, although not in detailed manner, describe sicknesses reviewed as political factors. Such extraordinary approach does not only give space for more critical assessment of the issues. It also creates a possibility to relate to the sick, understand their place in society and integrate them back into it, which is a difficult task to complete unless disease is perceived as a sociocultural phenomenon, not solely medical and personal. Susan Bordo continues studying anorexia nervosa in terms of gender considering the fact that the majority of patients are female, it is a natural response of the scientific society to research the reasons of such predisposition. Some time ago anorexia was analyzed in medical regard and there were certain theories that explained it as a biological disorder, perhaps connected to the functioning of hypothalamus, that may have ultimately different expression for men (Bordo, 1993 ). However, it becomes evident that girls and women fall victims of the eating disorders majorly because of the social pressure from media, family (especially mothers) and men, who promote the idea of thinness as ultimate value. Women that try to lose weight argue that those who are slim are also viewed as beautiful and smart, which pushes them towards constant dieting. Unfortunately, it can be seen that, indeed, such identity has become a stable social stereotype, the danger of which lies in its artificiality, physical and emotional stress for women. The essential role of the article is to demonstrate

COMPARATIVE CRITICAL REVIEW how deep the roots of this stereotypical thinking are. Not only according to the research, but also according to everyday personal experiences it becomes obvious that females waste a lot of energy and resources for becoming and staying slim even if their weight is normal. Radical feminists may claim that this is a social tool towards restricting womens advancement in public spheres by occupying them with ideas of beauty and thinness as a key element of success. What is more important (and what Bordos article largely lack), is that this pressure is often supported not only by men, but by women themselves. In order to overcome anorexia nervosa, they need to access the sociocultural reasons of disease critically. While anorexia is rarely talked about as something shameful and is often regarded as foolishness of young females that are the main risk group, AIDS remains a taboo topic. Despite intensive social advertising, those who have been infected with this disease are often treated as deserving it (Singer, 1993) because of the stable stereotype that it is transmitted as a result of drug use, homosexual or disorderly relationships and other. It bears a dangerous consequence it is easy to notice that young heterosexual people who do not take drugs believe they are highly unlikely to get AIDS. The idea of hospital without walls further advances the special temporal zone of any hospital into society, as the border between sickness and normal life is erased. However, while Singer argues that hospital is generally associated with positive anticipations of becoming right again, it is not always the case, and it is certainly not the case with the patient that has AIDS. He or she, on the contrary, enters this zone with a sense of fatality, and in the hospital without walls this fatality is no longer disclosed. The key problem is that the sickness continues to be a socially prohibited topic, which breeds stereotypes that have a negative effect on both the sick and those who belong to the risk groups.

COMPARATIVE CRITICAL REVIEW References: Bordo, S. (1993) Whose Body is This? Feminism, Medicine, and the Construction of Eating Disorders. Singer, L. (1993) Hospitalization and AIDS. Erotic Welfare: Sexual Theory and Politics in the Age of Epidemic.