Diseases and Diagnoses: The Second Age of Biology

Front Cover
Transaction Publishers, Dec 31, 2011 - Medical - 227 pages
Diseases and Diagnoses discusses why such social problems as addiction, sexually transmitted diseases, racial predisposition for illness, surgery and beauty, and electrotherapy, all of which concerned thinkers a hundred years ago, are reappearing at a staggering rate and in diverse national contexts. In the twentieth century such problems were viewed as only historical concerns. Yet in the twenty-first century, we once again find ourselves confronting their implications. In this fascinating volume, Gilman looks at historical and contemporary debates about the stigma associated with biologically transmitted diseases. He shows that there is no indisputable way to measure when a disease or therapy will reappear, or how it may be perceived at any given moment in time. Consequently, Gilman focuses on the socio-cultural and political implications that the reappearance of such diseases has had on contemporary society. His approach is to show how culture (embedded in cultural objects) both feeds and is fed by the claims of medical science-as for example, the reappearance of "race" as a cultural as well as a medical category. If the twentieth century was the "age of physics," in the latter part of the past century and certainly in the twenty-first century biological concerns are recapturing central stage. Achievements of the biological sciences are changing the public's sense of what constitutes cutting-edge science and medicine. None has captured the public imagination more effectively than the mapping of the human genome and the promise of genetic manipulation, which fuel what Gilman calls a "second age of biology." Although not without controversy, the role of genetics appears to be key. Gilman puts contemporary debates in historical context, showing how they feed social and cultural concerns as well as medical possibilities.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

Introduction
1
Chapter 1
19
Chapter 2
49
Chapter 3
83
Chapter 4
105
Chapter 5
127
Chapter 6
159
Chapter 7
197
Chapter 8
209
Index
223
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2011)

Sander L. Gilman is a distinguished professor of liberal arts and sciences as well as professor of psychology and director of the program of psychoanalysis at Emory University. He is best known for his work in the areas of Jewish studies and the history of medicine. He is the author of over seventy books including Fat: A Cultural History of Obesity, Multiculturalism and the Jews, and Franz Kafka.

Bibliographic information