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Accepted Paper:

If health is not a state but a process, is the disease a chance to find a way?  
Virgínia Maria dos Santos Calado (University of Lisbon)

Paper long abstract:

Severe disease is usually an event that triggers a personal crisis, which tends to be seen tragically. However, in a macrobiotic diet system, the crisis caused by disease are often presented as an opportunity to change lifestyle habits (especially eating habits) and create the possibility for personal development. In this sense the concept of disease as crisis corresponds to the widely disseminated view that connotes crisis with opportunity and something positive. In this presentation, I will discuss this specific point of disease, framing it in a more general discussion on the concepts of health and illness in macrobiotics. Drawing on ethnographic material, I will try to highlight the strength that the concept of immune system holds there. This point is so strong that, paradoxically, objection to vaccination is used as a way to protect the immune system.

Panel W055
Disease as crisis, health as imagination
  Session 1