Booktivism! Great Books on Pharma!

Leonore Tiefer and a dedicated group of folks hosted a recent Selling Sickness conference. They also took the time to gather up a number of important books and make a Booktivism PDF that can be used as a reader’s guide and a bookgroup launching point – including orienting questions. Do check it out, it is Continue reading…

Drugs for Life featured on BBC Radio!

In my first radio interview, Drugs for Life was featured on BBC Radio 4’s “Thinking Allowed,” a really engaging discussion show about the latest research into how society works and how we live today. I definitely need to get more comfortable speaking into a microphone alone in a room, getting right to the point instead Continue reading…

Drugs for Life

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How Pharmaceutical Companies Define Our Health (2012 Duke University Press) Kindle version is now out! Hear my radio interview about Drugs for Life on BBC 4 Thinking Allowed Every year the average number of prescriptions purchased by Americans increases, as do healthcare expenditures, which are projected to reach one-fifth of the U.S. gross domestic product Continue reading…

The Biomarx Experiment

PillDollar

“We want to maximize the number of new prescriptions…” “We want to identify people at risk at the earliest possible point…” Pharmaceutical marketers want to maximize the number of prescriptions in order to maximize profits. They see clinical trials as investments whose purpose was to increase sales of medicines, “Important clinical studies to conduct from Continue reading…

Inter-pill-ation and the instrumentalization of compliance

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Compliance’s usefulness as a measure of prescribed treatment adherence by a patient has been its ability to index treatment success, and therefore help in ensuring and governing health. What these anthropologists have discovered, however, is that because of its function as an index, compliance has been itself instrumentalized and made to serve goals sometimes quite far from health.

Sitting, Academic Style

Skeleton At Computer 1

STS as Equipment for Literature: Sitzfleisch Material Semiosis (draft for 4S talk for panel, “Get your theories up and running with lively machines” – comments welcome) the title is a variation on rhetorician Kenneth Burke’s brilliant piece, “Literature as Equipment for Living,” describing the uses of inspirational and self-help books, noting that most people read Continue reading…

Direct-to-Consumer Ads

This is the opening challenge in a Direct-To-Consumer (DTC) television commercial for Nexium, first aired in 2004. The aim of the commercial is to connect directly with the experience of heartburn sufferers so that they see themselves in the persons in the ads whom we are then told suffer from acid reflux disease, a disease Continue reading…

Informing Pharmaceutical Cultures

JOSEPH DUMIT AND NATHAN GREENSLIT INFORMATED HEALTH AND ETHICAL IDENTITY MANAGEMENT (Editorial) Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry 2006.  DOI: 10.1007/s11013-006-9017-z  The scale of pharmaceuticals is almost unbelievable: trillions of pills consumed per year, 602 billion dollars in global sales, 3.6 billion prescriptions in the U.S. alone in 2005. The average insured American purchased thirteen different prescriptions last Continue reading…

»When Explanations Rest

Chronic Fatigue CFS 4

“Good-Enough” Brain Science and the New Socio-Medical Disorders. Published in in Living and Working with the New Biomedical Technologies: Intersections of Inquiry, eds. Margaret Lock, Allan Young and Alberto Cambrosio. Explanations come to an end somewhere. – Wittgenstein Wittgenstein’s opening to Philosophical Investigations points to a funda­ mental crisis in scientific and medical research: When is there enough Continue reading…

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»Biomedicine as Culture

Biomedicine as Culture

Co-edited with Regula Burri in 2008. Biomedicine as Culture: Instrumental Practices, Technoscientific Knowledge, and New Modes of Life (Routledge Studies in Science, Technology and Society), best described through contents: Introduction REGULA VALÉRIE BURRI AND JOSEPH DUMIT PART I Social and cultural studies of biomedicine 1 Medicalizing culture(s) or culturalizing medicine(s) STEFAN BECK 2 Metaphors of medicine Continue reading…

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»Introduction to Cultural Anthropology through Debt

Strike Debt

A class for 500 students, 29 sections, 10 Teaching Assistants… any suggestions most appreciated! Objectives: Learn to read social science writing: understand how articles are structured, how data is collected, how arguments are made. Learn to think critically about social science concepts like cultures, practices, performances, economies, friends, family, timings, exchanges, debts, and gifts. Learn Continue reading…

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