American Studies ETDs

Author

Anzia Bennett

Publication Date

1-30-2012

Abstract

This thesis utilizes the example of Gardasil to better understand the dynamics of power at play in discourses of health in the United States, and to identify the neoliberal tenors of some contemporary public health strategies. A neoliberal turn in public health, while not all encompassing, has resulted in distorted and limited conceptions of health that rely on consumerism and notions of personal responsibility. With the example of Gardasil, Merck has deployed age-old tropes that pre-date, and are strengthened by, this neoliberal turn. These tropes--of women and girls as simultaneously at-risk and risky subjects, of young women's bodies in need of state protection, and of immigrants as sources of contagion--strategically displace the focus from the actual risk factors and causes of HPV-related deaths in the U.S. and contribute to an understanding of health as a private issue, privileging consumerism over prevention, and profit over public health.

Language

English

Keywords

Neoliberalism, Public Health, HPV Vaccine, Gardasil

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

American Studies

Level of Degree

Masters

Department Name

American Studies

First Advisor

Goldstein, Alyosha

First Committee Member (Chair)

Brandzel, Amy

Second Committee Member

Schreiber, Rebecca

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