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Stem Cell Tourism in China: The Dynamics of a Moral Economy
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This book assesses the contribution of Foucault's work to research and thinking in the area of health and medicine, and shows how key researchers in the sociology of health and illness are currently engaging with his ideas. Foucault, Health and Medicine explores such important issues as: Foucault's concept of 'discourse', the critique of the 'medicalization' thesis, the analysis of the body and the self, Foucault's concept of 'bio-power' in the analysis of health education, the implications of Foucault's ideas for feminist research on embodiment and gendered subjectivities, the application of Foucault's notion of governmentality to the analysis of health policy, health promotion, and the consumption of health.

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When conventional medical services no longer provide that hope, patients felt compelled to look elsewhere. By contesting the boundaries of scientific legitimacy, a space of uncertainty is opened up where hope for stem cell cures however fragile can persist. Chapter 3 features interviews with clinicians, scientists and representatives of patient organisations consulted, often informally, by people considering travelling abroad for unproven treatments.

Stem Cell Tourism and the Political Economy of Hope - The University of Melbourne

As a result, they tended to recommend caution, rather than flatly rejecting the possibility that unproven stem cell treatments will work, illustrating the difficulty of closing down such spaces of hope. Many of the book's other themes will also be of interest to a sociological audience: how individuals and families faced with serious illness navigate uncertainty and decide where to place their trust amid competing and contested claims; the role of social media and the internet in facilitating the search for information about the global marketplace for health care; the affective dimensions of care as provided in different ways by stem cell clinics and accidental advisors alike, and the individualisation of responsibility for health and wellbeing.

This is a commendable aim, but it also brings into view the book's primary limitation. Moreover, stem cell science is also a site of competition between countries, and national regulatory systems can be part of this competition. Volume 40 , Issue 8.

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