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Social Science General

Remembering the Body

Ethical Issues in Body Mapping Research

by (author) Treena Orchard

Initial publish date
Dec 2016
General, Home & Community Care
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Dec 2016
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This volume explores the arts-based methodology of body mapping, a participant-driven approach wherein people create richly illustrated life-size maps that articulate their embodied experiences with various health issues. First developed in the global South as a means of community mobilization and advocacy regarding women's health and HIV-related care needs, body mapping is now used by researchers, health practitioners, and community agencies globally to explore social determinants of health among diverse groups. However, the selective borrowing of certain tenets of the approach and the disregard for others in these studies raises the issue of cultural appropriation, and this is one of the key issues the explored. 

The second issue examined relates to the analysis of body mapping data, which remains an under-developed aspect of the methodology that the author addresses through the new mixed-method approach she created to more fully understand these arts-based data. Orchard also examines and seeks to explain the transformative nature of the body mapping research experience, for herself and the study participants. The data for this book come from an ethnographic study with HIV-positive women and men who struggle with addictions, HIV stigma, and historical traumas stemming from colonialism in two Canadian cities, including the beautiful body maps, individual interviews, and field notes. 

The author provides a compelling and deeply empathetic account of the powerful role that the arts, therapeutic practice, and human connection play in the production of research that yields rich data and can transform the lives of those involved.  Remembering the Bodywill be of interest to social science and health scholars, community agencies, and those in activist circles who are interested in using body mapping in their mindful academic and applied work. 

About the author

Contributor Notes

Treena Orchard is an Associate Professor in the School of Health Studies and an Affiliate in Women's Studies and Feminist Research at Western University in London, Ontario, Canada. An anthropologist with cultural and medical expertise, she has conducted ethnographic research with women in sex work, people with HIV/AIDS, Indigenous populations, and those of sexual minority status across Canada and in India. Her areas of special research interest include sexuality and sex work, gender, marginalization, and the politics of health and her work has been published in academic journals likeSocial Science & Medicine,Culture, Health & Sexuality,Critical Public Health, andAnthropologica. She has delivered over 75 conference papers, is regularly consulted by international journals and funding bodies for her expertise as a peer-reviewer. She is also involved in local and national activism related to the rights of women and other marginalized populations and had her first poem published in 2014 in a collection by the Poetry Institute of Canada,From the Cerulean Sea(National Library of Canada, Ottawa). Treena lives in London, Ontario with her two cats Shiva and Mr. Marbles, who provide much love and grounded support in the navigation of the everyday.