Thinking Through Resistance : A study of public oppositions to contemporary global health practice book cover
1st Edition

Thinking Through Resistance
A study of public oppositions to contemporary global health practice

Edited By

Nicola Bulled

ISBN 9781629583358
Published March 3, 2017 by Routledge
156 Pages

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Book Description

Acts of public defiance towards biomedical public health policies have occurred throughout modern history, from resistance to early smallpox vaccines in 19th-century Britain and America to more recent intransigence to efforts to contain the Ebola outbreak in Central and West Africa.

Thinking through Resistance examines a diverse range of case studies of opposition to biomedical public health policies – from resistance to HPV vaccinations in Texas to disputes over HIV prevention research in Malawi – to assess the root causes of opposition. It is argued that far from being based on ignorance, resistance instead serves as a form of advocacy, calling for improvements in basic health-care delivery alongside expanded access to infrastructure and basic social services. Building on this argument, the authors set out an alternative to the current technocratic approach to global public health, extending beyond greater distribution of medical technologies to build on the perspectives of a political economy of health.

With contributions from medical anthropologists, sociologists, and public health experts, Thinking through Resistance makes important reading for researchers, students, and practitioners in the fields of public health, medical anthropology, and public policy.  

Table of Contents

List of Contributors

1 Introduction: Thinking through resistance

Nicola Bulled and Matthew Puffer

2 Subaltern Resistance Narratives and the Culture-Centered Approach: Inverting Public Health Discourse

Mohan J. Dutta and Ambar Basu

3 "Protecting Life": The case of Texas legislation and Resistances to Gardasil, the HPV Vaccine

Samantha D. Gottlieb

4 Resistance or Parasitism?: Waste Scavengers and Dengue Mosquito Control in Nicaragua

Alex M. Nading

5 When New Science Meets Old Traditions: Engaging the Indigenous Sector to Improve Uptake of Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision for HIV Prevention in High-Prevalence Countries

Nicola Bulled and Edward C. Green

6 Saying no to PrEP Research in Malawi: What Constitutes ‘Failure’ in Offshored HIV Prevention Research?

Kristin Peterson, Morenike Oluwatoyin Folayan, Edward Chigwedere, and Evaristo Nthete

7 Oral Health as a Citizen-Making Project: Immigrant Parents’ Contestations of Dental Public Health Campaigns

Sarah Horton and Judith Barker

8 Drug Patents and Shit Politics in South Africa: Refiguring the Politics of the ‘Scientific’ and the ‘Global’ in Global Health Interventions

Christopher J. Colvin and Steven Robins


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Nicola Bulled is a medical anthropologist at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, USA. Her research explores the relationships between society and biomedical technologies for improved global health delivery.