Book Project


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3. Alan’s latest publication is The Grey Zone in Health and Illness (Intellect Press, forthcoming September 2010), in which he analyzes conceptions of health and illness and the “good life,” from a variety of sources (from psychoanalysis, popular culture, Plato’s Republic, etc.) and elucidates a theory of how they all help to construct an Imaginary of the healthy body or city as always in a state of emergency (and how such a construction informs public policy, the doctor-patient relationship, and lay understandings of health and disease). Alan is currently building on the work he has done on death and dying for the Grey Zone of Health and Illness project to formulate a new way to understand dementia and Alzheimer’s disease: dementia is a physical impairment, but characterizing it as such elides that dementia is also a construction – not a social construction in the sense that mental illness is all in the eye of the beholder, but in the sense that the doctors and relatives who care for the affected person always formulate dementia in such a way as to make it meaningful to them at the expense of their inarticulateness with respect to the unfathomable enigma of death.

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