The sociality of Lyme disease : an actor-network-theory approach to my disease and its implications
Elizabeth Grove Phillips
May 9, 2018
Department or Program
Anthropology - Environmental Studies
In this thesis I explore the sociality of Lyme disease. As someone who has suffered from Lyme disease and its chronic impairments, I use my own story as a launching point to trace the medical and ecological components of the disease that I encountered. First, I explore how biomedical frameworks constructed my illness as a mystery, then how an integrative and functional medicine approach informed by Dr. Richard Horowitz helped me make sense of my sickness and feel better, and finally how I entered an ecological trinity when I contracted Lyme disease’s bacterial agent. Studying Lyme disease through only one of these lenses feels inadequate, I argue, since the reality of Lyme exists at the confluence of these vectors, as my experience demonstrates. Instead, the numerous actants must be brought into dialogue.