Limits...
The aesthetic rationality of the popular expressive arts: Lifeworld communication among breast cancer survivors living with lymphedema.

Quinlan E, Thomas R, Ahmed S, Fichtner P, McMullen L, Block J - Soc Theory Health (2014)

Bottom Line: The findings point to the unique non-linguistic discursivity of these non-institutional artistic forms as their liberating power to disclose silenced human needs: the images 'spoke' for themselves for group members to recognize shared subjectivities.The authenticity claims inherent in the art forms fostered collective reflexivity and spontaneous, affective responses and compelled the group to create new collective understandings of the experience of living with lymphedema.The article contributes theoretical insights regarding the emancipatory potential of aesthetic-expressive rationality, an under-developed area of Habermasian theory of communicative action, and to the burgeoning literature on arts-based methods in social scientific research.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Sociology, University of Saskatchewan , Saskatoon, SK, Canada , S7N 5A5.

ABSTRACT
The use of popular expressive arts as antidotes to the pathologies of the parallel processes of lifeworld colonization and cultural impoverishment has been under-theorized. This article enters the void with a project in which breast cancer survivors used collages and installations of everyday objects to solicit their authentic expression of the psycho-social impacts of lymphedema. The article enlists Jurgen Habermas' communicative action theory to explore the potential of these expressive arts to expand participants' meaningful engagement with their lifeworlds. The findings point to the unique non-linguistic discursivity of these non-institutional artistic forms as their liberating power to disclose silenced human needs: the images 'spoke' for themselves for group members to recognize shared subjectivities. The authenticity claims inherent in the art forms fostered collective reflexivity and spontaneous, affective responses and compelled the group to create new collective understandings of the experience of living with lymphedema. The article contributes theoretical insights regarding the emancipatory potential of aesthetic-expressive rationality, an under-developed area of Habermasian theory of communicative action, and to the burgeoning literature on arts-based methods in social scientific research.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Eggcup installation.
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fig3: Eggcup installation.

Mentions: Using the women's creations as launching points for the group's focused discussion required the women to synthesize their felt sense and reasoned critique. As Boucher (2011) argues, the aesthetic sphere revolves around the truthfulness validity claim but not to the exclusion of the other two types of claim: ‘As soon as an aesthetic experience is used to illuminate our lives, it not only renews the interpretation of our needs in light of the world we perceive, but it also permeates our cognitive significations and our normative expectations' (Ingram, 1991, p. 86). Because aesthetic claims transcend the boundaries of the scientific and moral domains, they activate social actors towards holistic social critique. In the course of the group discussions, during which they reflected on their art installations, the women moved from an interest in the meaning of the symbols and images to an understanding of what was being brought to the fore and why. The creator described the objects in her installation in Figure 3 for the group with the following narrative:


The aesthetic rationality of the popular expressive arts: Lifeworld communication among breast cancer survivors living with lymphedema.

Quinlan E, Thomas R, Ahmed S, Fichtner P, McMullen L, Block J - Soc Theory Health (2014)

Eggcup installation.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4119252&req=5

fig3: Eggcup installation.
Mentions: Using the women's creations as launching points for the group's focused discussion required the women to synthesize their felt sense and reasoned critique. As Boucher (2011) argues, the aesthetic sphere revolves around the truthfulness validity claim but not to the exclusion of the other two types of claim: ‘As soon as an aesthetic experience is used to illuminate our lives, it not only renews the interpretation of our needs in light of the world we perceive, but it also permeates our cognitive significations and our normative expectations' (Ingram, 1991, p. 86). Because aesthetic claims transcend the boundaries of the scientific and moral domains, they activate social actors towards holistic social critique. In the course of the group discussions, during which they reflected on their art installations, the women moved from an interest in the meaning of the symbols and images to an understanding of what was being brought to the fore and why. The creator described the objects in her installation in Figure 3 for the group with the following narrative:

Bottom Line: The findings point to the unique non-linguistic discursivity of these non-institutional artistic forms as their liberating power to disclose silenced human needs: the images 'spoke' for themselves for group members to recognize shared subjectivities.The authenticity claims inherent in the art forms fostered collective reflexivity and spontaneous, affective responses and compelled the group to create new collective understandings of the experience of living with lymphedema.The article contributes theoretical insights regarding the emancipatory potential of aesthetic-expressive rationality, an under-developed area of Habermasian theory of communicative action, and to the burgeoning literature on arts-based methods in social scientific research.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Sociology, University of Saskatchewan , Saskatoon, SK, Canada , S7N 5A5.

ABSTRACT
The use of popular expressive arts as antidotes to the pathologies of the parallel processes of lifeworld colonization and cultural impoverishment has been under-theorized. This article enters the void with a project in which breast cancer survivors used collages and installations of everyday objects to solicit their authentic expression of the psycho-social impacts of lymphedema. The article enlists Jurgen Habermas' communicative action theory to explore the potential of these expressive arts to expand participants' meaningful engagement with their lifeworlds. The findings point to the unique non-linguistic discursivity of these non-institutional artistic forms as their liberating power to disclose silenced human needs: the images 'spoke' for themselves for group members to recognize shared subjectivities. The authenticity claims inherent in the art forms fostered collective reflexivity and spontaneous, affective responses and compelled the group to create new collective understandings of the experience of living with lymphedema. The article contributes theoretical insights regarding the emancipatory potential of aesthetic-expressive rationality, an under-developed area of Habermasian theory of communicative action, and to the burgeoning literature on arts-based methods in social scientific research.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus