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Rebirth of the Clinic

Places and Agents in Contemporary Health Care

2010

Cindy Patton, editor

Rebirth of the Clinic

Analyzing the medical clinic after neoliberalism

Indebted to Michel Foucault’s Birth of the Clinic, but recognizing the gap between what the modern clinic hoped to be and what it has become, Rebirth of the Clinic explores medical practices that shed light on the fraught relationship between medical systems, practitioners, and patients.

Rebirth of the Clinic contributes significantly and meaningfully to critical, interdisciplinary research on the clinic, on interactions between medical professionals and patients, and on the complex processes of translation through which policies are put into practice and vice versa.

Samantha King, Queen’s University

From physical location to payment processes to expectations of both patients and caregivers, nearly everything surrounding the contemporary medical clinic’s central activity has changed since Michel Foucault’s Birth of the Clinic. Indebted to that work, but recognizing the gap between what the modern clinic hoped to be and what it has become, Rebirth of the Clinic explores medical practices that shed light on the fraught relationship between medical systems, practitioners, and patients.

Combining theory, history, and ethnography, the contributors to this volume ground today’s clinic in a larger scheme of power relations, identifying the cultural, political, and economic pressures that frame clinical relationships, including the instrumentalist definition of health, actuarial-based medical practices, and patient self-help movements, which simultaneously hem in and create the conditions under which agents creatively change ideas of illness and treatment.

From threatened community health centers in poor African American locales to innovative nursing practices among the marginally housed citizens of Canada’s poorest urban neighborhood, this volume addresses not just the who, what, where, and how of place-specific clinical practices, but also sets these local experiences against a theoretical backdrop that links them to the power of modern medicine in shaping fundamental life experiences.

Contributors: Christine Ceci, U of Alberta; Lisa Diedrich, Stony Brook U;
Suzanne Fraser, Monash U; John Liesch, Simon Fraser U; Jenna Loyd, CUNY; Annemarie Mol, U of Amsterdam; Mary Ellen Purkis, U of Victoria.

Rebirth of the Clinic

Cindy Patton holds the Canada Research Chair in Community Culture and Health at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, where she is professor of women’s studies, sociology, and anthropology. She has written numerous books, including Inventing AIDS, Fatal Advice, Globalizing AIDS (Minnesota, 2002), and Cinematic Identity (Minnesota, 2007). She directs a qualitative research laboratory focused on community-based research related to HIV and health in marginal populations.

Rebirth of the Clinic

Rebirth of the Clinic contributes significantly and meaningfully to critical, interdisciplinary research on the clinic, on interactions between medical professionals and patients, and on the complex processes of translation through which policies are put into practice and vice versa.

Samantha King, Queen’s University

Rebirth of the Clinic

Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments

Introduction: Foucault after Neoliberalsim, or, The Clinic Here and Now
Cindy Patton
1. Clinic or Spa? Facial Surgery in the Context of AIDS-Related Facial Wasting
John Liesch and Cindy Patton
2. Implications of an Epistemological Vision: Knowing What to Do in Home Health Care
Christine Ceci and Mary Ellen Purkis
3. Where is Community Health?: Racism, the Clinic, and the Biopolitical State
Jenna Loyd
4. Repetition and Rupture: The Gender of Agency in Methadone Maintenance Treatment
Suzanne Fraser
5. Freedom or Socks: Market Promises vs. Supportive Care in Diabetes Treatment
Annemarie Mol
6. Clinic Without the Clinic
Cindy Patton
7. Practices of Doctoring: Enacting Medical Experience
Lisa Diedrich

Contributors
Index