Refracting 'health': Deleuze, Guattari and body-self

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64 Citations (Scopus)


This article considers 'health' and issues of embodiment through the prism of Deleuze and Guattari's framework of theory. Deleuze and Guattari speak of an embodied subjectivity, a 'body-without-organs' (BwO), which is the outcome of a dynamic tension between culture and biology. This BwO - or 'body-self' - is a limit, the outcome of physical, psychological and social 'territorialization', but which may be 'deterritorialized' to open up new possibilities for embodied subjectivity. The question 'what can a body do?' is posed to address issues of health and illness. The physical, psychological, emotional and social relations of body-self together comprise the limit of a person's embodied subjectivity, and as such delimit its 'health'. 'Illness' is a further limiting of these relations, while health care may offer the potential to de-territorialize these relations, opening up new possibilities. This model suggests the importance of a collaborative approach to illness, health and health care.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)347-363
Number of pages17
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2002
Externally publishedYes

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