Genetics, the privatisation of risk and the politics of victim blaming (in Polish)

Jan Domaradzki

About author

Jan Domaradzki, PhD
Laboratory of Health Sociology and Social Pathology
Chair of Social Sciences
Department of Social Sciences
Poznan University of Medical Sciences
ul. Dąbrowskiego 79
Pl-60-529 Poznan, Poland
jandomar@ump.edu.pl

Abstract


The concept of risk is one of the key categories of modern medicine. By stressing its three types, environmental risk, risk associated with lifestyle and genetic risk, medicine emphasizes personal responsibility for health and the management of risk. This results in bringing complex social problems down to the personal level. Such politics of “victim blaming” is reinforced by genetics, which emphasizes inherited predispositions to diseases, thus shifting responsibility for health from the government toward the individual. Medicine argues that health and illness depend on biochemical laws and personal lifestyle. Because information regarding risks is omnipresent it is impossible to be unaware of them. Ignorance and negligence are treated as irresponsibility. Consequently, medicine promotes the idea that disease can be prevented. It obliges individuals to look for information and to manage personal risk. Yet, it masks the social determinants of health and the necessity of social reforms.

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References


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DOI:

http://dx.doi.org/10.13153/diam.32.2012.474

Article links:

Default URL: http://www.diametros.iphils.uj.edu.pl/index.php/diametros/article/view/474
Polish abstract URL: http://www.diametros.iphils.uj.edu.pl/index.php/diametros/article/view/474/pl
English abstract URL: http://www.diametros.iphils.uj.edu.pl/index.php/diametros/article/view/474/en

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