Articles

Putting British social medicine in conversation with Black feminist health science studies: considerations for racial health disparities

Putting British social medicine in conversation with Black feminist health science studies: considerations for racial health disparities


Introduction At present, we are living through several major, arguably foreseen, historical events and political shifts. For example, the COVID-19 pandemic has destabilised and further fragmented Britain’s social, economic, and healthcare systems. Additionally, the cost-of-living crisis has resulted in the disturbing increase of the reliance on foodbanks for the employed and unemployed alike (BBC News. […]
Healthcare in the age of inequality

Healthcare in the age of inequality


I had just begun my year of social service when I met a patient I will never forget. Let’s call her María. She was around 50 years old and was attending a follow-up for abdominal pain and abnormal uterine bleeding. The results of her colposcopy strongly suggested cervical cancer and an ultrasound showed multiple hepatic […]
Family planning projects: unpacking the spectacle of women’s empowerment in Uttar Pradesh, India

Family planning projects: unpacking the spectacle of women’s empowerment in Uttar Pradesh, India


Introduction Contraceptives are considered ‘the greatest life-saving, poverty ending, women-empowering innovation ever created’ (Gates 2019, 18). ‘Family planners’ – the global constellation of bilateral and multilateral entities, governments, philanthropies, research bodies, and NGOs working in the field of family planning – rationalize investment and intervention into ‘excessive’ fertility along two lines: namely, reductions in unintended […]
Medicalization and resocialization: the future of social medicine

Medicalization and resocialization: the future of social medicine


Social medicine, an approach that centres the social conditions of life as the cause of health and illness, can be thought of as an effort to ‘resocialize’ medicine. It is an attempt to reverse the narrowing of the medical gaze on the minutiae of material biology within individual bodies as the sole explanation for disease, […]
Democracy, power, knowledge, and health: questions for the future of social medicine

Democracy, power, knowledge, and health: questions for the future of social medicine


This essay aims to explore possibilities and challenges for the future of Social Medicine.[1] It is inspired by empirical ethnographic research, as part of a PhD in Collective Health, in a Brazilian public maternity hospital, which does not escape the contradictions of being part of a universal health system immersed in a context of deep […]
Social medicine as a state of exception: rethinking responsibility and public medicine through mutual aid events in Japan

Social medicine as a state of exception: rethinking responsibility and public medicine through mutual aid events in Japan


If you fall into a pit, you can climb out, but once you slip from a sheer cliff,                   you cannot step firmly into a new life again Tokyo Ueno Station, Yu Miri Ghostly matters in Sugamo Since its establishment by the US occupying forces in the aftermath of the Second World War, Sugamo Prison […]
Toward Sick Futurity: Ill wisdom for liberation

Toward Sick Futurity: Ill wisdom for liberation


In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, North Americans became familiar with the idea that people with underlying conditions were at increased risk for severe COVID infections. Talk of underlying conditions was a constant refrain across news media, public health missives, and social media posts. “Underlying conditions” became an awareness campaign, it became a […]
Navigating the Unreal: Virtual Reality in Psychiatric Treatment

Navigating the Unreal: Virtual Reality in Psychiatric Treatment


“Three men are constantly speaking to me behind my right ear,” says Pia Oxenvad, a young woman experiencing auditory hallucinations. “It feels like they are standing right behind me,” she explains, while indicating with her right hand precisely where the voices seem to be lurking.[1] To Pia, the voices are real, an experiential and always […]
Multispecies Anxiety in France’s Bedbug Autumn

Multispecies Anxiety in France’s Bedbug Autumn


In the final evening of an archival research trip across France last September, I was thrilled to see that a cinema in Quartier Latin was screening Atlantic City (1980), one of the few films by Louis Malle that I had never watched on the big screen and was likely never going to be able to […]
The work of plants

The work of plants


Though plants are indispensable for human survival, their contributions to human existence and history are often underappreciated.
Metabolism and capacity: history and labour in post-apartheid South Africa

Metabolism and capacity: history and labour in post-apartheid South Africa


I start with the question, why was it necessary, from 2008, for Mondi South Africa to spend R50 million (USD 8 million) a year on a nutrition intervention for 10,000 timber plantation labourers in KwaZulu-Natal province?