"The intellectually sophisticated and rigorously supported arguments in this volume show how the deviant body has been constructed and the uses to which it has been put in western societies. Without question "Deviant Bodies" shows the value of multi-disciplinary critical approaches in unravelling the powerfully complex and problematic relationship between so-called deviant behavior and the bodies of socially marginalized groups." - Evelynn Hammonds. "Deviant Bodies" argues that bodies are knowable only through culture and history; they are not in any simple way natural, nor are they ever free of relations of power. Modern life sciences and medicine, and the popular perceptions they engender, have not merely observed and reported on bodies - they construct them through particular investigatory techniques and culturally informed research goals. A number of essays trace the construction of particular 'deviant bodies', including the homosexual body, the HIV-infected body, the infertile body, the deaf body, the colonized body, and the criminal body.
Other chapters reveal how whole categories of people - women, Jews, Native Americans, Blacks - have been designated fundamentally deviant not by virtue of symptoms they manifest, but because of their subordinate location in systems for distinguishing gender, ethnicity and race. Together, the essays in this volume stress that concepts of deviancy have been used to shore up notions of what is normal - often a white, heterosexual, healthy, male body - and what is not. "Deviant Bodies" reveals that the 'normal' and 'healthy' body is a fiction of science, and documents the subversive resistance of the 'deviant' body. The contributors are Anne Fausto-Sterling, Carol Groneman, Lisa Handwerker, David G. Horn, Janice Irvine, Susan Jahoda, M. Susan Lindee, K. Tsianina Lomawaima, Nicholas Mirzoeff, Dorothy Nelkin, Cindy Patton, Robert Proctor, Alan Swedlund, Jennifer Terry, Rachel Tolen, and Jacqueline Urla.