Within a variety of practice environments, health professionals often experience feelings of disgust and repulsion towards the presence of an abject object. Cadaverous, sick, disabled bodies, troubled minds, wounds, vomit and so forth are all part of health and care work and threaten the clean and proper bodies of those who undertake it, yet this 'unclean' side of health work is rarely accounted for in academic literature. This volume employs the work of Julia Kristeva through a range of case studies drawn from care and nursing settings around the world. It brings together work from researchers and practitioners within the social and health sciences, the caring professions and psychotherapy, to expose and highlight the important impact of the concept of abjection, which historically has been silenced in the health sciences.
'This book is a powerful collection of works, edited by two of the most insightful and radical thinkers in nursing. Rudge and Holmes are a truly formidable duo and they have brought together authors whose works go to fundamental questions for nursing in the 21st century. These chapters challenge the many normative and comforting concepts in which nursing has taken refuge. These authors put new questions on nursing's agenda. Bravo.' Jocalyn Lawler, The University of Sydney, Australia 'From mucous membranes to mutilation, disgust to defilement, horror to honour these are the stock in trade of Kristeva in the clinic. All and more are vividly portrayed in this compelling collection. This volume provides a cornucopia of concepts and applies these in intriguing and innovative ways to nursing practice. To be read with relish.' Anne Marie Rafferty, King's College, London, UK 'Without doubt a compelling read… Rudge and Holmes have produced a well-crafted, informative, highly evocative (and often provocative) text. Each chapter follows a comfortingly similar format, beginning with an introduction that leads to an explicit statement about the aim of the chapter. This careful crafting has ensured consistency across chapters and an overall coherence of the book… there is much to be learned from this book. Collectively, the contributors articulate and make visible the abject. They illuminate considerable potential to rethink ways that bodies are viewed in contemporary health care… I was so absorbed by this book. Rarely have I found a healthcare text so compelling. This is a highly recommended read.' Nursing Philosophy
Contents: Foreword, Jeanne Randolph; Introduction - abjectly boundless: boundaries, bodies and health work, Trudy Rudge and Dave Holmes; Part I Fluids and Transgression of Boundaries: Blurring the boundaries: breastfeeding and maternal subjectivity, Virginia Schmied and Deborah Lupton; Menstruation and dene physical practices, Audrey Giles; 'What it means to see': reading gender in medical examinations of suicide, Katrina Jaworski; Fearing sex: toxic bodies, paranoia and the rise of technophilia, Dave Holmes and Cary Federman; Eroticizing the abject: understanding the role of skeeting in sexual practices, Patrick O'Byrne. Part II Abject Positioning: Spoiled identities: women's experiences after mastectomy, Roanne Thomas-MacLean; 'Betwixt and between nothingness': abjection and blood stem cell transplantation, Beverleigh Quested; Managing the 'other' within the self: bodily experiences of HIV/AIDS, Marilou Gagnon; 'She exists within me': subjectivity, embodiment and the world's first facial transplant, Marc Lafrance; The abject body in requests for assisted death: symptomatic, dependent, shameful and temporal, Annette Street and David Kissane; Losing Private Kovko: when military masculinity goes SNAFU, Jackie Cook. Part III Containment of Bodies: Strange yet compelling: anxiety and abjection in hospital nursing, Alicia Evans; Subjectivity and embodiment: acknowledging abjection in nursing, Janet McCabe; Encountering the other: nursing, dementia care and the self, Dave Holmes, Sylvie Lauzon and Marilou Gagnon; Dirty nursing: containing defilement and infection control practices, Allison Roderick; Regaining skin: wounds, dressings and the containment of abjection, Trudy Rudge; Conclusion - defacing horror, realigning nurses, Joanna Latimer; Index.