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Life Exposed

Author : Adriana Petryna
ISBN : 9781400845095
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 47.88 MB
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On April 26, 1986, Unit Four of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor exploded in then Soviet Ukraine. More than 3.5 million people in Ukraine alone, not to mention many citizens of surrounding countries, are still suffering the effects. Life Exposed is the first book to comprehensively examine the vexed political, scientific, and social circumstances that followed the disaster. Tracing the story from an initial lack of disclosure to post-Soviet democratizing attempts to compensate sufferers, Adriana Petryna uses anthropological tools to take us into a world whose social realities are far more immediate and stark than those described by policymakers and scientists. She asks: What happens to politics when state officials fail to inform their fellow citizens of real threats to life? What are the moral and political consequences of remedies available in the wake of technological disasters? Through extensive research in state institutions, clinics, laboratories, and with affected families and workers of the so-called Zone, Petryna illustrates how the event and its aftermath have not only shaped the course of an independent nation but have made health a negotiated realm of entitlement. She tracks the emergence of a "biological citizenship" in which assaults on health become the coinage through which sufferers stake claims for biomedical resources, social equity, and human rights. Life Exposed provides an anthropological framework for understanding the politics of emergent democracies, the nature of citizenship claims, and everyday forms of survival as they are interwoven with the profound changes that accompanied the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Category: Social Science

When Experiments Travel

Author : Adriana Petryna
ISBN : 1400830826
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 57.25 MB
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The phenomenal growth of global pharmaceutical sales and the quest for innovation are driving an unprecedented search for human test subjects, particularly in middle- and low-income countries. Our hope for medical progress increasingly depends on the willingness of the world's poor to participate in clinical drug trials. While these experiments often provide those in need with vital and previously unattainable medical resources, the outsourcing and offshoring of trials also create new problems. In this groundbreaking book, anthropologist Adriana Petryna takes us deep into the clinical trials industry as it brings together players separated by vast economic and cultural differences. Moving between corporate and scientific offices in the United States and research and public health sites in Poland and Brazil, When Experiments Travel documents the complex ways that commercial medical science, with all its benefits and risks, is being integrated into local health systems and emerging drug markets. Providing a unique perspective on globalized clinical trials, When Experiments Travel raises central questions: Are such trials exploitative or are they social goods? How are experiments controlled and how is drug safety ensured? And do these experiments help or harm public health in the countries where they are conducted? Empirically rich and theoretically innovative, the book shows that neither the language of coercion nor that of rational choice fully captures the range of situations and value systems at work in medical experiments today. When Experiments Travel challenges conventional understandings of the ethics and politics of transnational science and changes the way we think about global medicine and the new infrastructures of our lives.
Category: Social Science

When People Come First

Author : João Biehl
ISBN : 9781400846801
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 71.98 MB
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When People Come First critically assesses the expanding field of global health. It brings together an international and interdisciplinary group of scholars to address the medical, social, political, and economic dimensions of the global health enterprise through vivid case studies and bold conceptual work. The book demonstrates the crucial role of ethnography as an empirical lantern in global health, arguing for a more comprehensive, people-centered approach. Topics include the limits of technological quick fixes in disease control, the moral economy of global health science, the unexpected effects of massive treatment rollouts in resource-poor contexts, and how right-to-health activism coalesces with the increased influence of the pharmaceutical industry on health care. The contributors explore the altered landscapes left behind after programs scale up, break down, or move on. We learn that disease is really never just one thing, technology delivery does not equate with care, and biology and technology interact in ways we cannot always predict. The most effective solutions may well be found in people themselves, who consistently exceed the projections of experts and the medical-scientific, political, and humanitarian frameworks in which they are cast. When People Come First sets a new research agenda in global health and social theory and challenges us to rethink the relationships between care, rights, health, and economic futures.
Category: Social Science

Advocacy After Bhopal

Author : Kim Fortun
ISBN : 0226257193
Genre : History
File Size : 64.20 MB
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The 1984 explosion of the Union Carbide chemical plant in Bhopal, India was undisputedly one of the world's worst industrial disasters. Some have argued that the resulting litigation provided an "innovative model" for dealing with the global distribution of technological risk; others consider the disaster a turning point in environmental legislation; still others argue that Bhopal is what globalization looks like on the ground. Kim Fortun explores these claims by focusing on the dynamics and paradoxes of advocacy in competing power domains. She moves from hospitals in India to meetings with lawyers, corporate executives, and environmental justice activists in the United States to show how the disaster and its effects remain with us. Spiraling outward from the victims' stories, the innovative narrative sheds light on the way advocacy works within a complex global system, calling into question conventional notions of responsibility and ethical conduct. Revealing the hopes and frustrations of advocacy, this moving work also counters the tendency to think of Bhopal as an isolated incident that "can't happen here."
Category: History

Markets Of Sorrow Labors Of Faith

Author : Vincanne Adams
ISBN : 9780822354499
Genre : History
File Size : 82.16 MB
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This ethnographic account of long-term recovery in post-Katrina New Orleans provides a sobering look at the fallout from the privatization of vital social services under neoliberal, or market-driven, governance.
Category: History

Sick Building Syndrome And The Problem Of Uncertainty

Author : Michelle Murphy
ISBN : 0822336715
Genre : Medical
File Size : 59.82 MB
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DIVAn account of sick building syndrome and the large number of historical conditions--office worker protests, feminism, ventilation engineering, toxicology, etc.--that coalesced to give this phenomenon real existence./div
Category: Medical

Government Of Paper

Author : Matthew Stuart Hull
ISBN : 9780520272149
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 80.73 MB
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"Drawing inspiration from actor-network theory, science studies, and semiotics, this brilliant book makes us completely rethink the workings of bureaucracy as analyzed by Max Weber and James Scott. Matthew Hull demonstrates convincingly how the materiality of signs truly matters for understanding the projects of 'the state.'" - Katherine Verdery, author of "What was Socialism, and What Comes Next?" "We are used to studies of roads and rails as central material infrastructure for the making of modern states. But what of records, the reams and reams of paper that inscribe the state-in-making? This brilliant book inquires into the materiality of information in colonial and postcolonial Pakistan. This is a work of signal importance for our understanding of the everyday graphic artifacts of authority." - Bill Maurer, author of "Mutual Life, Limited: Islamic Banking, Alternative Currencies, Lateral Reason" "This is an excellent and truly exceptional ethnography. Hull presents a theoretically sophisticated and empirically rich reading that will be an invaluable resource to scholars in the field of Anthropology and South Asian studies. The author's focus on bureaucracy, "corruption," writing systems and urban studies (Islamabad) in a post-colonial context makes for a unique ethnographic engagement with contemporary Pakistan. In addition, Hull's study is a refreshing voice that breaks the mold of current representation of Pakistan through the security studies paradigm." - Kamran Asdar Ali, Director, South Asia Institute, University of Texas
Category: Social Science

Made In Madagascar

Author : Andrew Walsh
ISBN : 9781442694750
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 74.93 MB
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Since the 1990s, the Ankarana region of northern Madagascar has developed a reputation among globe-trotting gemstone traders and tourists as a source of some of the world's most precious natural wonders. Although some might see Ankarana's sapphire and ecotourist trades as being at odds with each other, many local people understand these trades to be fundamentally connected, most obviously in how both serve foreign demand for what Madagascar has to offer the world. Walsh explores the tensions and speculations that have come with the parallel emergence of these two trades with sensitivity and a critical eye, allowing for insights into globalization, inequality, and the appeal of the "natural." For more information, and to read a hyperlinked version of the first chapter online, visit
Category: Social Science

When Bodies Remember

Author : Didier Fassin
ISBN : 9780520940451
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 51.64 MB
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In this book, France's leading medical anthropologist takes on one of the most tragic stories of the global AIDS crisis—the failure of the ANC government to stem the tide of the AIDS epidemic in South Africa. Didier Fassin traces the deep roots of the AIDS crisis to apartheid and, before that, to the colonial period. One person in ten is infected with HIV in South Africa, and President Thabo Mbeki has initiated a global controversy by funding questionable medical research, casting doubt on the benefits of preventing mother-to-child transmission, and embracing dissidents who challenge the viral theory of AIDS. Fassin contextualizes Mbeki's position by sensitively exploring issues of race and genocide that surround this controversy. Basing his discussion on vivid ethnographical data collected in the townships of Johannesburg, he passionately demonstrates that the unprecedented epidemiological crisis in South Africa is a demographic catastrophe as well as a human tragedy, one that cannot be understood without reference to the social history of the country, in particular to institutionalized racial inequality as the fundamental principle of government during the past century.
Category: Social Science


Author : Jim Smith
ISBN : 9783540280798
Genre : Technology & Engineering
File Size : 41.21 MB
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As the debate about the environmental cost of nuclear power and the issue of nuclear safety continues, a comprehensive assessment of the Chernobyl accident, its long-term environmental consequences and solutions to the problems found, is timely. Although many books have been published which discuss the accident itself and the immediate emergency response in great detail, none have dealt primarily with the environmental issues involved. The authors provide a detailed review of the long-term environmental consequences, in a wide range of ecosystems, many of which are only now becoming apparent. They also highlight responses and counter-measures to combat the environmental consequences and discuss health, social, psychological and economic impacts on the human population as well as the long-term effects on biota.
Category: Technology & Engineering