By Alex Preda
Interpreting the formation of medical wisdom in regards to the AIDS epidemic within the Eighties, Alex Preda highlights the metaphors, narratives, and classifications which framed clinical hypotheses in regards to the nature of the infectious agent and its transmission. Preda compares those arguments with these utilized in the clinical research of SARS. He demonstrates how medical wisdom approximately epidemics is formed via cultural narratives and different types of social suggestion via a close overview of biomedical guides.
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Extra resources for Aids, Rhetoric, And Medical Knowledge
However, the following speciﬁcations necessarily focus on those that are relevant to my analysis. Some of these conceptualizations have extended the notion of discourse to any kind of linguistic exchange, be it written or oral; some have argued that because discourse is the general domain of the production and circulation of rule-governed statements it need not be speech-based. This broad deﬁnition includes visual artifacts in the sphere of discourse, and textual ones (Mills 1997, p. 9). Another, perhaps more productive approach is to deﬁne discourse not by its object, but by its operations.
The “lifestyle” of hemophiliacs was presented in the biomedical discourse as a result of medical and technological advances that made self-administered transfusions and storage of blood parts possible; the hemophiliac identity was largely presented as a biomedical creation. Carricaburu and Pierret’s ﬁeld study of hemophiliacs living with HIV in France (1992, pp. 97–121) showed that they too perceive themselves as a product of biomedicine. Historians and community activists took a critical stand with respect to the way risk was deﬁned in this phase, arguing that it left children, women, and heterosexuals out (although such cases had already been signaled) and that it produced a discriminating and stigmatizing notion of risk, which was much exploited by the media.
Does this inﬂuence the practice of the clinician; are these discourses disseminated in the broader medical world; do they have consequences? Because if they do not, we are again left with a ﬂat world of texts having little to do with the real world. This possible objection contains several aspects: the ﬁrst pertains to the audience of medical papers. It amounts to asking: are medical journal articles really widely read in the community? Isn’t the readership restricted instead to a small circle of researchers?