Speaking from the Body
264 pages, 6 x 9
Paperback
Release Date:20 Nov 2008
ISBN:9780816526642
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Speaking from the Body

Latinas on Health and Culture

The University of Arizona Press
In compelling first-person accounts, Latinas speak freely about dealing with serious health episodes as patients, family caregivers, or friends. They show how the complex interweaving of gender, class, and race impacts the health status of Latinas—and how family, spirituality, and culture affect the experience of illness.
Here are stories of Latinas living with conditions common to many: hypertension, breast cancer, obesity, diabetes, depression, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, dementia, Parkinson’s, lupus, and hyper/hypothyroidism. By bringing these narratives out from the shadows of private lives, they demonstrate how such ailments form part of the larger whole of Latina lives that encompasses family, community, the medical profession, and society. They show how personal identity and community intersect to affect the interpretation of illness, compliance with treatment, and the utilization of allopathic medicine, alternative therapies, and traditional healing practices. The book also includes a retrospective analysis of the narratives and a discussion of Latina health issues and policy recommendations.
These Latina cultural narratives illustrate important aspects of the social contexts and real-world family relationships crucial to understanding illness. Speaking from the Body is a trailblazing collection of personal testimonies that integrates professional and personal perspectives and shows that our understanding of health remains incomplete if Latina cultural narratives are not included.
Contains compelling first hand accounts of Latinas speaking freely about dealing with serious health episodes.’ —Diálogo

‘Chabram-Dernersesian and de la Torre have compiled an excellent collection of Latina personal health narratives that helps readers better understand the insider, emic perspective on Latina worldviews surrounding health, illness and culture.’ — CHOICE
Adela de la Torre is Director of Chicana/Chicano Studies at the University of California--Davis.
Introduction: Narratives of Latina Health
Angie Chabram-Dernersesian
1. Of Breasts and Baldness: My Life with Cancer
Gabriela F. Arredondo
2. Embodying Dementia: Remembrances of Memory Loss
Yvette G. Flores
3. Countering the Pain That Never Heals: Pláticas That Mend the Soul
Adela de la Torre
4. Letters to Ceci: A Journey from Hyperthyroidism to Hypothyroidism
Clara Lomas
5. Fat in America: A Latina’s Personal Journey
“Christi”
6. A Language for Healing: Finding Sacred Meaning in Transcending Chronic Lupus
Concha Delgado Gaitan
7. Debe ser la reuma / It Must Be Rheumatism
Enriqueta Valdez-Curiel
8. My Spirit in Rebellion, My Body with Parkinson’s Disease: Soy soldadera rebelde
Adaljiza Sosa-Riddell
9. “I Wake Up and Go to Bed with Pills”: An Anonymous Latina Speaks about the Not-So-Silent Killer (Hypertension)
Redacted by Angie Chabram-Dernersesian
10. A Tapestry of Illness: A Latina Physician’s Family Gives Voice to Diabetes and Illness
Jessica Núñez de Ybarra
11. “Working toward Wholeness”: Gloria Anzaldúa’s Struggles to Live with Diabetes and Chronic Illness
AnaLouise Keating
12. When the Joys of Pregnancy Bring a Shocking Discovery: A Latina Epidemiologist Confronts Gestational Diabetes
Lorena García
13. A Retrospective on the Narratives of Latina Health: What We Can Learn
Angie Chabram-Dernersesian and Adela de la Torre
14. Latina Health: Empirical Realities, Alternative Interpretations, and Policy Recommendations
Adela de la Torre

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