During the 1950s the scope of American medicine began to expand to include concerns such as alcoholism, drug addiction, and obesity in an ongoing process called medicalization. The editors of this collection argue that we are in the midst of another major transformation in American medicine, "biomedicalization," the result of dramatic, largely techno-scientific changes in the organization and practices of biomedicine since the mid-1980s. While medicalization attempts to control biomedical phenomena, biomedicalization increasingly seeks to transform them, largely through sooner-rather-than-later techno-scientific interventions that not only treat but also often enhance bodies and their function. This collection features the pioneering essay in which the editors first theorized biomedicalization and the multiple, interacting, and shifting processes that define it. In addition to theoretical engagements with patterns of medicalization and biomedicalization, the collection includes case studies emphasizing technologies of difference and of enhancement.
Those focused on difference take up matters including the business of fertility medicine, the construction of techno-scientific identities through MRIs, new molecular epidemiological constructions of "persons at risk," and the first FDA-approved race-based drug. Essays about biomedical enhancement address Viagra, chemoprevention, discourses of personal responsibility surrounding weight-loss surgeries, and the informatics of diagnosis in biopsychiatry. The range of sites of biomedicalization underscores the breadth of its impact. Contributors: Natalie Boero; Adele E. Clarke; Jennifer R. Fishman; Jennifer Ruth Fosket; Kelly Joyce; Jonathan Kahn; Laura Mamo; Jackie Orr; Elianne Riska; Janet K. Shim; Sara Shostak
Preface; Acknowledgments Part I: Theoretical and Historical Framings 1. Biomedicalization: Technoscientific Transformations of Health, Illness, and U.S. Biomedicine / Adele E. Clarke, Janet K. Shim, Laura Mamo, Jennifer Ruth Fosket, and Jennifer R. Fishman; 2. Charting (Bio)Medicine and (Bio)Medicalization in the United States, 1890-Present / Adele E. Clarke, Jennifer Ruth Fosket, Laura Mamo, Jennifer R. Fishman, and Janet K. Shim; 3. From the Rise of Medicine to Biomedicalization: U.S. Healthscapes and Iconography, circa 1890-Present / Adele E. Clarke; 4. Gender and Medicalization and Biomedicalization Theories / Elianne Riska Part II: Case Studies: Focus on Difference 5. Fertility, Inc.: Consumption and Subjectification in U.S. Lesbian Reproductive Practices / Laura Mamo; 6. The Body as Image: An Examination of the Economic and Political Dynamics of Magnetic Resonance Imaging and the Construction of Difference / Kelly Joyce; 7. The Stratified Biomedicalization of Heart Disease: Expert and Lay Perspectives on Racial and Class Inequality / Janet K. Shim; 8. Marking Populations and Persons at Risk: Molecular Epidemiology and Environmental Health / Sara Shostak; 9. Surrogate Markers and Surrogate Marketing in Biomedicine: The Regulatory Etiology and Commercial Progression of "Ethnic" Drug Development / Jonathan Kahn Part III: Focus on Enhancement 10. The Making of Viagra: The Biomedicalization of Sexual Dysfunction / Jennifer R. Fishman; 11. Bypassing Blame: Bariatric Surgery and the Case of Biomedical Failure / Natalie Boero; 12. Breast Cancer Risk as Disease: Biomedicalizing Risk / Jennifer Ruth Fosket; 13. Biopsychiatry and the Informatics of Diagnosis: Governing Mentalities / Jackie Orr Epilogue: Thoughts on Biomedicalization in Its Transnational Travels / Adele E. Clarke References; About the Contributors; Index