Enacting Divides: Successful Alliances in Health Activism in Bulgaria

Enacting Divides: Successful Alliances in Health Activism in Bulgaria

Ina Dimitrova
DOI: 10.4018/IJANTTI.2017010102
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Th? paper aims to explore the current state of a particular instance of patient activism in Bulgaria through tracing the sociotechnical network architecture of the assisted reproductive technologies. It argues that in the local context this is the patient activism, which could be assessed as successful or, in ANT's terms, it has forged heterogeneous alliances, able to sustain themselves, proliferate and enroll new protagonists. Based on interviews with patients and activists, on media representations, and online discussions, this research tries to trace the local heterogeneous arrays of protagonists and show how ARTs network successfully stabilizes and gains power.
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Health Activism In Heterogeneous Collectives

The research on patient groups and health movements is a broad and bourgeoning field, drawing on diverse theoretical frameworks and mobilizing an array of methodological toolkits. There is little doubt that recent advances in biosciences and biotechnologies have significant impact on various received patterns of social bonding as well as the power to engender novel forms of social groupings. In their efforts to respond to and to offer some insights on the specific nature of these processes, on their consequences and on the ways our contemporary societies should try to govern and mould them, social science reflection has directed its attention to the ongoing transformations of citizenship, capturing them through the concepts of biological (Petryna, 2002; Rose & Novas, 2005) or genetic citizenship (Kerr, 2003; Heath, Rapp & Taussig, 2004). These notions together with the concept of “biosociality” (Rabinow, 1996) are employed as tools for analyzing the emerging new dynamics, constellations and redefinitions of identities, collectivities, activism and governance at the intersections of society and biomedical knowledge today.

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