Intersectionality and Health Consumerism in Antebellum Virginia

Author(s): Lori Lee

Year: 2017


This presentation explores intersectionality in the context of health consumerism in antebellum central Virginia. Health consumerism incorporates the modern sense of patients’ involvement in their own health care decisions and the degree of access enslaved African Americans had to resources that shaped their health and well-being experiences. To emphasize the multilayered nature of health and illness, this analysis engages Margaret Lock and Nancy Scheper-Hughes "three bodies model." The three elements comprising this model consist of 1. The individual body—the physical body and personal experience of the body, including the mind; 2. The social body— the body as it is socially represented in various symbolic and metaphorical forms; and 3) the body politic—regulation, surveillance, and control of bodies (both individual and collective) in reproduction and sexuality, work and leisure, and sickness. This model allows for the assessment of intersectionality across domains of power. Public health is a growing research focus that uses an intersectional approach. I argue that understanding intersectionality in past health approaches is critical for understanding modern public health challenges.

Cite this Record

Intersectionality and Health Consumerism in Antebellum Virginia. Lori Lee. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431956)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -84.067; min lat: 36.031 ; max long: -72.026; max lat: 43.325 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 17556