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The critical (micro)political economy of health: A more-than-human approach.

Authors
  • Fox, Nick J1
  • 1 University of Huddersfield, UK.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Health (London, England : 1997)
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2024
Volume
28
Issue
1
Pages
22–39
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1177/13634593221113212
PMID: 35869595
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

The critical political economy of health offers different explanations for the social causes of health and the social factors determining the distribution of these causes. However, the relational, post-anthropocentric and monist ontology of the new materialisms overcomes this complexity, while retaining a critical focus. In this perspective, the social, economic and political relations of capitalism act upon bodies and other matter in everyday events, rather than as 'social structures'. Using a conceptual toolkit of 'affect', 'assemblage', 'capacity' and 'micropolitics', the paper asks the question: 'what does capitalism do?' The re-analysis of the social and economic relations of capitalism in terms of a production-assemblage and a market-assemblage reveals not only the workings of capitalist accumulation, but also how previously-unremarked more-than-human affects in these assemblages simultaneously produce uncertainty, waste and inequalities. This micropolitical economy of health is illustrated with examples from recent research, including a critical assessment of health inequalities during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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