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.
Neoliberalism, Public Health, HPV Vaccine, Gardasil
Level of Degree
First Committee Member (Chair)
Second Committee Member
Bennett, Anzia. "Risky Subjects, Subjects at Risk: HPV Vaccination and the Neoliberal Turn in Public Health." (2012). https://digitalrepository.unm.edu/amst_etds/2