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Cardiovascular Disease and Obesity Prevention in Germany

By Jörg Niewöhner, Martin Döring, Michalis Kontopodis, Jeannette Madarász and Christoph Heintze


Cardiovascular diseases present the leading cause of death worldwide. Over the last decade, their preventio has become not only a central medical and public health issue but also a matter of political concern as well as a major market for pharma, nutrition, and exercise. A preventive assemblage has formed that integrates diverse kinds of knowledges, technologies, and actors, from molecular biology to social work, to foster a specific healthy lifestyle. In this article, the authors analyze this preventive assemblage as a heterogeneous engineer, that is, as an attempt to order complex everyday life into an architecture of modernism. This article draws on research conducted as part of the interdisciplinary research cluster ‘‘preventive self’’ (2006-2009) bringing together analyses from social anthropology, history, linguistics, sociology of knowledge, and medicine. The authors report here primarily from ethnographic investigations into biomedical research, primary care, and educational practices in kindergartens. The authors conclude that the preventive assemblage largely fails to install any kind of singular order. Instead, it is translated into existing orderings producing heterogeneity of a different nuance.Peer Reviewe

Topics: cardiovascular risk, prevention, heterogeneous engineering, ordering, overweight, 301 Soziologie, Anthropologie, 610 Medizin und Gesundheit, 616 Krankheiten, ddc:301, ddc:610, ddc:616
Publisher: Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Year: 2011
DOI identifier: 10.1177/0162243910392797
OAI identifier: oai:edoc.hu-berlin.de:18452/18852
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