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Download Biomedicine Examined by Margaret Lock (auth.), Margaret Lock, Deborah Gordon (eds.) PDF

By Margaret Lock (auth.), Margaret Lock, Deborah Gordon (eds.)

The tradition of latest drugs is the thing of research during this ebook; the meanings and values implicit in biomedical wisdom and perform and the social techniques during which they're produced are tested by using particular case reviews. The essays offer examples of ways numerous features of twentieth century medication, together with edu­ cation, study, the construction of clinical wisdom, the improvement and alertness of expertise, and each day scientific perform, are in step with­ vaded via a cost method attribute of an industrial-capitalistic view of the realm during which the concept that technology represents an target and price unfastened physique of information is dominant. The authors of the essays are sociologists and anthropologists (in nearly equivalent numbers); additionally incorporated are papers through a social historian and through 3 physicians all of whom have steeped themselves within the social sci­ ences and arts. This co-operative exercise, which has necessi­ tated the breaking down of disciplinary boundaries to some degree, is consistent with­ haps indicative of a bigger flow within the social sciences, one during which there's a looking for a center floor among grand idea and makes an attempt at common factors at the one hand, and the context-spe­ cific empiricism and relativistic bills attribute of many old and anthropological analyses at the other.

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Medical taxonomy, it is commonly believed, describes not prescribes (Rawlinson 1982). In some extreme cases, however, disease is considered to be essentially all culture and little biology, referred to in the anthropological literature as "culture-bound syndromes" (Hahn 1986). Students of bio· medicine and science have been slow to explore the symbolic dimension of biomedicine's apparently technical, instrumental, and neutral activities (Habermas 1970; Powles 1973; Comaroff 1984; Gordon 1987a,b).

Culture - symbols, language - are vehicles for knowing; they connect the outside reality with the internal knower. Ideally they should leave no trace on the knowledge, that is, they should depict rather than constitute. Similarly, society and knowledge are separate. Knowledge is autonomous yet accessible to those in power and it is separate from, not defined by power (as Foucault [1977] argues). Rationality is also separate from morality. " Truth tells us about how things work "naturally," not ideologically.

New York: Vintage Books. 1980b Power/Knowledge. Selected Interviews and Other Writings, 1972-1977. ). New York: Pantheon. Fox, Renee 1959 Experiment Perilous. Glencoe, Illinois: The Free Press. 1974 Ethical and Existential Developments in Contemporaneous American Medicine: Their Implications for Culture and Society. Milbank Memorial Fund Quarterly 52 (Fall): 445-483. TENACIOUS ASSUMPTIONS IN WESTERN MEDICINE 49 Fox, Renee C. and Judith P. Swazey 1978 The Courage to Fail: A Social View of Organ Transplants and Dialysis.

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