Glocal Pharma: International Brands and the Imagination of Local Masculinity, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Glocal Pharma

International Brands and the Imagination of Local Masculinity, 1st Edition

By Ericka Johnson, Ebba Sjögren, Cecilia Åsberg


126 pages

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Hardback: 9781472481634
pub: 2016-05-27
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The Open Access version of this book, available at, has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 3.0 license.

An exploration of how global pharmaceutical products are localized - of what happens when they become ‘glocal’ - this book examines the tensions that exist between a global pharmaceutical market and the locally bounded discourses and regulations encountered as markets are created for new drugs in particular contexts. Employing the case study of the emergence, representation and regulation of Viagra in the Swedish market, Glocal Pharma offers analyses of commercial material, medical discourses and legal documents to show how a Swedish, Viagra-consuming subject has been constructed in relation to the drug and how Viagra is imagined in relation to the Swedish man.

Engaging with debates about pharmaceuticalization, the authors consider the ways in which new identities are created around drugs, the redefinition of health problems as sites of pharmaceutical treatment and changes in practices of governance to reflect the entrance of pharmaceuticals to the market. With attention to ‘local’ contexts, it reveals elements in the nexus of pharmaceutcalization that are receptive to cultural elements as new products become embedded in local markets.

An empirically informed study of the the ways in which the presence of a drug can alter the concept of a disease and its treatment, understandings of who suffers from it and how to cure it - both locally and internationally - this book will appeal to scholars of sociology and science and technology studies with interests in globalization, pharmaceuticals, gender and the sociology of medicine.

Table of Contents

About the Authors


1. Introduction: Glocal Pharmaceuticalization

Part I Changes in Forms of Governance

2. Governing by Drugs: Conniving Patients, Beguiled Doctors and Disciplining Drugs

3. ‘A Few Good Men’ are Not Enough: Upsetting General Categories with Specific Knowledge When Making Reimbursement Decisions

Part II Changes in the Medical Discourse

4. The Swedish Medical Discourse: Impotence, Erectile Dysfunction and Viagra in Läkartidningen

5. Alpha-Blockers and a Weaker Pharmaceutical Influence on Medical Discourse

Part III Techno-Social Relationships and Identities

6. Enrolling Men, their Doctors, and Patients: Individual and Collective Responses to Erectile Dysfunction

7. Viagra Selfhood: Pharmaceutical Advertising and the Visual Formations of Swedish Masculinity

8. Conclusions: Glocal Pharma and the Swedish Viagra Man



About the Authors

Ericka Johnson is Assistant Director of the Technology and Social Change Division at Linköping University, Sweden and co-editor of Technology and Medical Practice: Blood, Guts and Machines. Visit her website:

Cecilia Åsberg is Professor of Gender Studies at Linköping University, Sweden.

Ebba Sjögren is Associate Professor in the Department of Accounting at Stockholm School of Economics, Sweden.

About the Series

Global Connections

Global Connections
Global Connections builds on the multi-dimensional and continuously expanding interest in globalization, focusing on 'connectedness' and providing accessible, concrete studies across a broad range of areas such as social and cultural life, and economic, political and technological activities. Interdisciplinary in approach, the series moves beyond abstract generalities and stereotypes: 'Global' is considered in the broadest sense of the word, embracing connections between different nations, regions and localities, including activities that are trans-national, and trans-local in scope; 'connections' refers to movements of people, ideas, resources, and all forms of communication as well as the opportunities and constraints faced in making, engaging with, and sometimes resisting globalization.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General