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The Brain's Body: Neuroscience and Corporeal Politics

By
Victoria Pitts-Taylor
Victoria Pitts-Taylor

Victoria Pitts-Taylor is Professor of Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Wesleyan University and the author of Surgery Junkies: Wellness and Pathology in Cosmetic Culture.

 

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Duke University Press
ISBN electronic:
978-0-8223-7437-4
Publication date:
2016

In The Brain's Body Victoria Pitts-Taylor brings feminist and critical theory to bear on new development in neuroscience to demonstrate how power and inequality are materially and symbolically entangled with neurobiological bodies. Pitts-Taylor is interested in how the brain interacts with and is impacted by social structures, especially in regard to race, class, gender, sexuality, and disability, as well as how those social structures shape neuroscientific knowledge. Pointing out that some brain scientists have not fully abandoned reductionist or determinist explanations of neurobiology, Pitts-Taylor moves beyond debates over nature and nurture to address the politics of plastic, biosocial brains. She highlights the potential of research into poverty's effects on the brain to reinforce certain notions of poor subjects and to justify particular forms of governance, while her queer critique of kinship research demonstrates the limitations of hypotheses based on heteronormative assumptions. In her exploration of the embodied mind and the "embrained" body, Pitts-Taylor highlights the inextricability of nature and culture and shows why using feminist and queer thought is essential to understanding the biosociality of the brain. 

 

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