Biomedicalization and the Practice of Culture: Globalization and Type 2 Diabetes in the United States and Japan

By Mari Armstrong-Hough | Go to book overview

CHAPTER THREE
Our Genes Don’t Match Your Culture
Japanese Narratives about the Origins of Type 2 Diabetes

Theories of medicalization and biomedicalization have generated new perspectives on the processes transforming biomedicine and expanding its domain beyond illness to health itself. Although most empirical work engaging with the biomedicalization framework is still U.S.-based, biomedicalization scholars have always argued that medicalization and biomedicalization are not merely North American phenomena. Rather, “these transformations of medical care and of life itself are, of course, increasingly exported and (re)modeled as well as being produced elsewhere …” (Clarke et al. 2010: 32). This chapter examines medicalization and biomedicalization in their “transnational travels” by analyzing the construction of the type 2 diabetes epidemic in contemporary Japan. I use grounded theory to situate and model the ways in which risk for diabetes is explained by Japanese health professionals, patients, and other lay participants during interviews. In the process, I draw connections between differences in the biomedicalized production of risk for diabetes in Japan and broader social patterns that provide the raw material from which risk is conceived and constructed.

Like the United States, Japan is among the worlds most affluent societies, and the dominant approach to health care and maintenance is technologically advanced biomedicine. The Japanese and American medical communities share similar empirical, often reductionist, approaches to the production and adjudication of best practices in medicine. And decades of exchange programs, fellowships, and cooperation agreements between Japanese and American universities have brought generations of Japanese physicians to American medical centers on a temporary basis.

However, these similarities have limits. As Shobita Parthasarathy (2012) demonstrates in her work on BRCA testing in Britain and the United States, we should not assume that shared emphasis on empirical medicine will necessarily lead to identical conclusions about best practices; the influence of national context on practice can be profound. As an example of technoscientifìc biomedicine outside the West, Japan has much to contribute to North American scholars’ expanding understanding of biomedicalization.

-51-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Biomedicalization and the Practice of Culture: Globalization and Type 2 Diabetes in the United States and Japan
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 174

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.