Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Breast cancer survivorship in urban India : self and care in voluntary groups
Author: Macdonald, A. C.
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2013
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Please try the link below.
Access from Institution:
This thesis explores the lives of middle-class women who have had breast cancer and are charity volunteers for small associative patient groups in urban India. It is through their activities and experiences as ‘post-cancer volunteers’ that the thesis attends to the notion of breast cancer ‘survivorship’ in relation to emergent forms of solidarity, belonging and personhood. The thesis has three main areas of concern. The first explores the role of survivorship in generating a novel form of lay expertise that gives rise to emergent forms of grassroots patient activism within the interstices of different spheres of care in a distinct urban oncological health landscape. This is described in relation to novel forms of disease affiliation such as practices of therapeutic mediation, the creation of pragmatic and sentimental solidarities, and the reconfiguration of novel forms of gendered self-care. The activities of the voluntary groups are explored as a particular form of spiritual humanitarianism conceptualised as sevā (selfless service) and are discussed in relation to recent anthropological studies on biosocial patient mobilisation around biological affiliation and emergent forms of health citizenship. The second area attends to the post-cancer volunteers’ individual experiences of recovering from breast cancer as initiating the cultivation of certain practices of self-care and attempts to harness the self in a more singular mode of personhood. These experiences are considered in light of recent ethnographic research on contemporary forms of Hindu devotion and longstanding anthropological debates on Indian personhood, gender and the individual in anthropology more generally. Finally, the thesis explores these novel forms of personhood and patterns of philanthropic care at the intersection of particular visions of Indian modernity that are seen to unfold in complex ways in urban India today.
Supervisor: Gibbon, S. ; Empson, R. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available