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Pharmaceutical relationships : intersections of illness, fantasy, and capital in the age of direct-to-consumer marketing

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dc.contributor.advisor Joseph Dumit. en_US
dc.contributor.author Greenslit, Nathan P en_US
dc.contributor.other Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Program in Science, Technology and Society. en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2011-05-23T17:53:36Z
dc.date.available 2011-05-23T17:53:36Z
dc.date.copyright 2007 en_US
dc.date.issued 2007 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1721.1/62963
dc.description Thesis (Ph. D. in History, Anthropology, and Science, Technology and Society (HASTS))--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Program in Science, Technology and Society, 2007. en_US
dc.description Cataloged from PDF version of thesis. en_US
dc.description Includes bibliographical references (p. 278-289). en_US
dc.description.abstract This dissertation is a multi-sited ethnography among marketers, consumer-patients and psychiatrists in the U.S. It explores the recent history of styles of pharmaceutical advertising that have come about in response to FDA regulations and ethical issues raised by patients and the press about how the pharmaceutical industry shapes drug research. Specifically this dissertation explores the role of direct-to-consumer drug marketing (DTC) in the consumption and experience of antidepressants, including a cultural shift in the U.S. towards how the consumer negotiates new ethical injunctions to manage his or her own identity through pharmaceuticals. A key focus is how marketers carve out their own ethical niche from which they innovate on ways to persuade consumer audiences with scientific facts that double as public relations. This dissertation gives special attention to how individuals encounter and incorporate the putative neuroscience of DTC advertising of antidepressants to negotiate their personal knowledge of illness, and to manage their identity, everyday practices, and professional pursuits. From these ethnographic encounters I have identified "illness," "fantasy," and "capital" as three key themes for my analysis of DTC marketing. In turn I have combined the very different literatures on illness (which address patient advocacy movements and health care seeking and questions of how medical diagnoses can be deployed as social norms), fantasy (which address psychoanalytic conceptions of desire and self, as well as semiotic understandings of consumption), and capital (which address health care market competition, and negotiations with the FDA over truth in advertising). In sum, this dissertation offers a thick description of "ethical identity management" in the contemporary landscape of U.S. pharmaceutical consumption. en_US
dc.description.statementofresponsibility by Nathan P. Greenslit. en_US
dc.format.extent 289 p. en_US
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher Massachusetts Institute of Technology en_US
dc.rights M.I.T. theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission. See provided URL for inquiries about permission. en_US
dc.rights.uri http://dspace.mit.edu/handle/1721.1/7582 en_US
dc.subject Program in Science, Technology and Society. en_US
dc.title Pharmaceutical relationships : intersections of illness, fantasy, and capital in the age of direct-to-consumer marketing en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.description.degree Ph.D.in History, Anthropology, and Science, Technology and Society (HASTS en_US
dc.contributor.department Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Program in Science, Technology and Society. en_US
dc.identifier.oclc 719452425 en_US


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