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Salud & Sociedad: investigaciones en psicologia de la salud y psicologia social

On-line version ISSN 0718-7475


CARO, Leyla Méndez; SEGOVIA, Jimena Silva; CUITINO, Beatriz Pereira  and  HERNANDEZ, Eileen Flores. Discourses captured on the body: research about the mastectomy repercussions within the chilean women. Salud & Sociedad [online]. 2012, vol.3, n.2, pp.152-164. ISSN 0718-7475.

The objective of this study is to understand the social discourses which operate upon the processes of building body selfimage. The emphasis is on the emotional and sexual lives of women who have survived breast cancer. The purpose is to contribute to psychosocial knowledge which promotes the creation of support programs oriented towards counseling for women who have undergone surgical mastectomy. The study is based on the theoretical and methodological approach of social constructivism and gender perspective. Seven women aged 33 to 53 years shared their mastectomy experiences, with or without breast reconstruction. We used the biographical method and interpreted findings from a narrative focus. The principal conclusions centered upon the tension of having to face a new body which, after mastectomy, does not correspond with socio-cultural discourses and expectations regarding beauty and womanhood. This situation gradually reduces the levels of self-esteem to the detriment of biopsychosocial well-being after the surgery

Keywords : Mastectomy; Social Discourses; Body image; Gender.

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