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A genealogy of “healthism” / A genealogy of “healthism”: Healthy subjectivities between individual autonomy and disciplinary control

  • Turrini, Mauro
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2015
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Healthism is a sociological concept that has circulated widely outside of academia, while is it rather neglected by social sciences. This article intends to propose its genealogy in order to revitalize this term and to propose it as an analytical framework able to grasp some of contemporary tendencies marked by the centrality of individuals. After an historical excursus of healthism, which began as a spin-off of the well-known term " medicalization " , the article proceeds by exploring the legacy of this notion for contemporary analysis of the expanding sector of illness prevention and prediction as well as health/wellness promotion and optimization. In particular, it focuses on the establishment of lifestyles and risk factors as the vector of medical devices, practices, and concepts in society. Instead of looking at these changes in spatial terms, as either an expansion or a shrinking of medical discourse, healthism provides an analytical framework attentive to the relationship with medical power, technologies and data inherent in emerging medical subjectivities. Keywords

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