Wellness in Whiteness
Biomedicalization and the Promotion of Whiteness and Youth among Women
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The Open Access version of this book, available at https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/9781351234146, has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 license.
This book analyses the social and ethical implications of the globalization of emerging skin-whitening and anti-ageing biotechnology. Using an intersectional theoretical framework and a content analysis methodology drawn from cultural studies, the sociology of knowledge, the history of colonial medicine and critical race theory, it examines technical reports, as well as print and online advertisements from pharmaceutical and cosmetics companies for skin-whitening products. With close attention to the promises of ‘ageless beauty’, ‘brightened’, youthful skin and solutions to ‘pigmentation problems’ for non-white women, the author reveals the dynamics of racialization and biomedicalization at work. A study of a significant sector of the globalized health and wellness industries – which requires the active participation of consumers in the biomedicalization of their own bodies – Wellness in Whiteness will appeal to social scientists with interests in gender, race and ethnicity, biotechnology and embodiment.
Table of Contents
1. Situating skin-whitening biotechnology 2. Pigmentation pathologies and regenerative whiteness 3. 'Face north and smile': biomedicalization of ageing and 'science-based' whiteness therapy 4. Racialising consumption: skin-whitening and the global look 5. Entrepreneurial innovation in skin-whitening biotechnology: ethical and social implications
Amina Mire is Associate Professor in the department of sociology and anthropology at Carleton University, Canada. Her research interests are in the history of women and technology, STEM and gender, bioethics, medical anthropology, medical humanities, and the biomedicalization of ageing.