AIDS, Rhetoric, and Medical Knowledge

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Examining the formation of scientific knowledge about the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s, Alex Preda highlights the metaphors, narratives, and classifications which framed scientific hypotheses about the nature of the infectious agent and its transmission. Preda compares these arguments with those used in the scientific analysis of SARS. He demonstrates how scientific knowledge about epidemics is shaped by cultural narratives and categories of social thought through a detailed review of biomedical publications.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The style in which the topic of AIDS is presented by Preda seems best suited for the academicians interested in developing theory and logic models for AIDS prevention, education and advocacy.... This book illustrates how important culture is within prevention and health policies with respect to how scientific research is organized and funded." - Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521837705
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 10/15/2004
  • Pages: 290
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr Alex Preda is Professor of Sociology at the University of Konstanz. He has taught at the universities of Bielefeld and Konstanz, Germany. He is co-editor of The Sociology of Financial Markets. This is his first book.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: AIDS and scientific knowledge; 1. Making up the rules of seeing: opportunistic infections and the new syndrome; 2. The economy of risk categories; 3. The etiologic agent and the rhetoric of scientific debate; 4. Retrovirus vs. Retrovirus: the arguments for HTLV-III, LAV, and HIV; 5. The spatial configurations of 'AIDS Risk'; 6. Who is how much? from qualities to quantities of risk; 7. In lieu of a conclusion: do rhetorical practices matter?; References; Notes.

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