Monday, January 26, 2009
Performance as a site of social change
Increasingly, a new generation of health communication scholars are drawing our attention to the performative nature of health communication. In our experiences of health and illness; in our interactions with our loved ones in a variety of health contexts; in our interactions with healers and health care providers; in our sharing of our stories of health, illness, healing, and dying with others in our communities; in our participation in social and political processes that seek to address issues of healthcare, we continually perform ourselves. Performance in this sense is both public and private. We perform our selves in health communication interactions; and perform often for others, for the purposes of understanding, sharing, creating community and bringing about change. It is through our performances that we co-construct stories of health that articulate the violence inflicted by oppressive social structures, and suggest avenues for social change.