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Biomedicalization and the Practice of CultureGlobalization and Type 2 Diabetes in the United States and Japan$
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Mari Armstrong-Hough

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781469646688

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469646688.001.0001

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Biomedicalization and Globalization

Biomedicalization and Globalization

(p.15) Chapter One Biomedicalization and Globalization
Biomedicalization and the Practice of Culture

Mari Armstrong-Hough

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter presents a discussion of the book’s theoretical framework and central argument, arguing that the everyday practice of biomedicine and the social process of biomedicalization rest on the foundations of relatively widely shared narratives within communities. As these narratives and narrative fragments are accessed selectively and deployed with creativity and contradiction, the transformations social scientists call biomedicalization are necessarily inflected and informed by their sociocultural context through what is available from the cultural repertoire or “tool kit” and how those cultural materials are deployed. As a result, biomedicalization does not eradicate diversity in “things medical,” but rather produces it. The following chapters explore this argument empirically, organized in descending order of imagined social space: world, nation, exam room, and home. Each is a site at which the meaning of the diabetes epidemic is imagined, negotiated, contested, and reimagined.

Keywords:   Globalization, Medicalization, Biomedicalization, Pharmaceuticalization, Explanatory models

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