Embodied Protests, Emotions, and Failing Socialities
This book examines how the intimate experiences of illness and distress are linked to what medical anthropologists refer to as “social suffering”—the broad array of social and structural conditions that underlie human anguish and misery. Drawing on the narratives of market- and working-class women from the small Bolivian town of Punata, the book argues that emotions and the embodiment of emotion are at the heart of various diseases and symptoms. It shows how the political and economic volatility that hit Bolivia during the 1990s and in the first years of the twenty-first century as a result of neoliberal reforms sparked protest on a much smaller scale as people complained and embodied the so-called violences of everyday life. It shows that much of the emotional distress voiced by the women of Punata was related to social conflicts, domestic violence, economic scarcity, and what is termed “failed sociality.” This introduction explains the book's research methodology and provides an overview of the chapters that follow.
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