Seeking proposals for a 4S 2016 panel on Pharmaceuticals Out of Bounds, organized on behalf of the Science, Technology, and Medicine section of the Society for Medical Anthropology!
Pharmaceuticals out of Bounds
When birth control hormones are found in drinking water and fish in streams contain Prozac, it is time to acknowledge that pharmaceuticals have gone rogue. If illness is the “new normal” (Dumit 2012), then the bioactive materials that at once define, sustain, or assuage illness will inevitably escape the limits imagined in their usage scripts. What happens when pharmaceuticals overflow the boundaries imposed by regulatory structures, carrier materials, and places and methods of production? What new risks–to bodies and environments–appear in an increasingly pharmaceuticalized world? What new social lives do drugs take on when used outside of their usage scripts, after expiration, or when they are cut, mixed, and remade into new types of drugs?
This panel is organized by the Science, Technology, and Medicine (STM) section of the Society for Medical Anthropology, and will be submitted as a closed panel.