Inconspicuous anomalies: alexithymia and ethical relations to the self

Greco, Monica. 2001. Inconspicuous anomalies: alexithymia and ethical relations to the self. Health, 5(4), pp. 471-492. ISSN 14617196 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This article uses the analysis and discussion of the ‘alexithymia
construct’ to approach the question of how we might think about the relationship
between ethics and illness. After a brief introduction to the construct,
its paradigmatic potential within the broader context of psychosomatic medicine
is discussed. The article then elaborates on the sociocultural specificity
of alexithymia, both as a construct and as a mode of being, to argue that
central to this construct is the cultural value ascribed to the notion of an
‘authentic self’. The implications of the alexithymia construct are then examined
in the vocabulary of narrative approaches to self and illness. The construct
may be regarded as an expert meta-narrative on the relative value of
different self-narratives in relation to the possibility of disease. As a result,
the ethical responsibilities associated both with narrative and with illness
become expanded and transformed.

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alexithymia, authenticity, ethics, illness, narrative, psychosomatics, self

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1 October 2001Published

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Date Deposited:

12 Mar 2009 15:42

Last Modified:

04 Jul 2017 15:57

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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