Ancestors and Antiretrovirals:
The Biopolitics of HIV/AIDS in Post-Apartheid South Africa
by Claire Laurier Decoteau
University of Chicago Press, 2013, 324 pp.
The specter of “tradition versus modernity” returns as a conundrum for understanding and signifying HIV/AIDS in post-apartheid South Africa in Claire Decoteau’s sociological monograph, Ancestors and Antiretrovirals. Interpretive social scientists like Decoteau are well trained to …
The Paradox of Hope:
Journeys through a Clinical Borderland
By Cheryl Mattingly
University of California Press, 2010, 288 pp.
Offered as a philosophical anthropology, The Paradox of Hope: Journeys through a Clinical Borderland is intended as a meditation on hope in “in all its vagaries, vulnerabilities, and paradoxes” (233). As a book grounded as much in ethnographic particulars as it …
A Commentary on Angela Garcia’s The Pastoral Clinic: Addiction and Dispossession along the Rio Grande
University of California Press, 2010
264 pp., US$ 28.95 (paperback)
In his sprawling and widely lauded novel Infinite Jest, the late David Foster Wallace offers a riveting portrait of modern addiction. Scenes of the banality of Twelve-Step programs drew on Wallace’s own experiences in …
The Clinic and Elsewhere: Addiction, Adolescents, and the Afterlife of Therapy
by Todd Meyers
University of Washington Press, 2013
172 pp, US$25.00 (paperback)
The Clinic and Elsewhere is an extremely well-crafted account of the methodological, conceptual and narrative problems of knowledge and life of the afterlife of drug therapy. Todd Meyers gives expressive form to the attempt to cure, to …
The Alzheimer Conundrum: Entanglements of Dementia and Aging
by Margaret Lock
Princeton University Press, 2013.
328 pages, US $29.95 (Cloth)
Margaret Lock’s The Alzheimer Conundrum: Entanglements of Dementia and Aging is a welcome addition to a body of work that has so productively explored the historical contingencies, cultural specificities, and philosophical dilemmas that surround and shape bodies and people’s …
Aging, Chronic Illness and Viagra in Mexico
by Emily Wentzell
Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2013.
The medicalization and marketing of pharmaceuticals linked to men’s health uses specified bodily imagery and discourses, more often than not evoking stereotypes of ‘manliness’ and hegemonic ideals of masculinities (Connell & Messerschmidt 2005). It is thus no surprise …