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Heart-SickThe Politics of Risk, Inequality, and Heart Disease$
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Janet K. Shim

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780814786833

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814786833.001.0001

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The Politics of Disease Causation

The Politics of Disease Causation

Chapter:
(p.29) 1 The Politics of Disease Causation
Source:
Heart-Sick
Author(s):

Janet K. Shim

Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9780814786833.003.0002

This chapter discusses the concepts and theoretical arguments of biopower and biopolitics, intersectionality theory, and fundamental causality to set the foundation for the politics of disease causation (epidemiology) to be explained in the subsequent chapters. Biopower refers to power over life; one of its aspects is biopolitics, which focuses on populations, on “the species body, the body imbued with the mechanics of life and serving as the basis of the biological processes.” Intersectionality theory is the conception of race, class, and gender as interconnecting relations of power, bases for identity, and dimensions of hierarchical difference. Fundamental causality offers a deeply sociological and potentially theoretically powerful explanation of health disparities and their multicausal and durable nature.

Keywords:   biopower, biopolitics, intersectionality theory, fundamental causality, disease causation, epidemiology

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