Social Science and Dentistry

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September 2013
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The mouth

This paper takes as its core problematic the extent to which the mouth has been constituted as a theme for sociology. The aim this paper is to review existing perspectives on the mouth and evaluate the possibilities for further work on the mouth as an object of enquiry. The paper begins by exploring the mouth as a metaphor before going on to explore how the mouth became separated from the body through the techniques of power and knowledge associated with dentistry. We then explore how the mouth has become recognised as a symbol of one’s citizenship status. How the mouth has been evaluated through the perspective of historical anthropology is then studied, especially in relation to its function as a permeable boundary. The paper concludes by exploring further possibilities for work on the mouth specifically in relation to embodiment and the production of the mouth in social space.

Key words: Mouth, dentistry, anthropology

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B Gibson, C Exley

Articles from this issue

  • Title
  • Pg. Start
  • Pg. End

  1. Editorial
  2. 49
  3. 49

  1. The mouth
  2. 50
  3. 57

  1. The Cognitive Vulnerability Model and its role in dental anxiety acquisition and maintenance
  2. 58
  3. 72

  1. The Impact of Dental Disease on a sample of Aboriginal adults living in the Central Coast Region of New South Wales Australia
  2. 73
  3. 79

  1. Collecting psychosocial self-report data in oral health research: impact of literacy level and computerised administration
  2. 80
  3. 87

  1. Pre-operative expectations and recovery outcomes for third molar extraction surgery in Nigeria
  2. 88
  3. 94

  1. Applying psychological models to evidence-based care by the dental team: a summary paper
  2. 95
  3. 100