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    ABSTRACT: This article argues that gambling is a paradigmatic form of consumption that captures the intensified logic at the heart of late modern capitalist societies. As well as a site of intensified consumption, it claims that gambling has also become the location of what has been described as a new form of 'social pathology' related to excess play. Drawing on Castells' (1996) notion of techno-economic systems, it explores the ways that intersections between technology, capital and states have generated the conditions for this situation, and critiques the unequal distribution of gambling environments that result. It argues that, while the products of these systems are consumed on a global scale, the risks associated with them tend to be articulated in bio-psychological discourses of 'pathology' which are typical of certain types of knowledge that have salience in neo-liberal societies, and which work to conceal wider structural relationships. We argue that a deeper understanding of the political and cultural economy of gambling environments is necessary, and provide a synoptic overview of the conditions upon which gambling expansion is based. This perspective highlights parallels with the wider global economy of finance capital, as well as the significance of intensified consumption, of which gambling is an exemplary instance. It also reveals the existence of a geo-political dispersal of 'harms', conceived as deteriorations of financial, temporal and social relationships, which disproportionately affect vulnerable social groups. From this, we urge an understanding of commercial gambling based on a critique of the wider social body of gambling environments within techno economic systems, rather than the (flawed) individual bodies within them.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2013 · British Journal of Sociology
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    ABSTRACT: In this paper I revisit previous critiques that I have made of much, though by no means all, bioethical discourse. These pertain to faithfulness to dualistic ontology, a taken-for-granted normative anthropocentrism, and the exclusion of a consideration of how political economy shapes the conditions for bioethical discourse (Twine Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 8(3):285-295, 2005; International Journal of Sociology of Agriculture and Food 16(3):1-18, 2007, 2010). Part of my argument around bioethical dualist ontology is to critique the assumption of a division between the "medical" (human) and "agricultural" (nonhuman) and to show various ways in which they are interrelated. I deepen this analysis with a focus on transnational pharmaceutical companies, with specific attention to their role in enhancing agricultural production through animal drug administration. I employ the topical case of antibiotics in order to speak to current debates in not only the interdisciplinary field of bioethics but also that of animal studies. More generally, the animal-industrial complex (Twine Journal for Critical Animal Studies 10(1):12-39, 2012) is underlined as a highly relevant bioethical object that deserves more conceptual and empirical attention.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2013 · Journal of Bioethical Inquiry
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    ABSTRACT: There is a particular silence around the social life of defecation. Little analyzed, rarely discussed in polite conversation, it largely appears only at moments of dysfunction. For active heroin users, digestion is often characterized by such dysfunction and experienced through constipation; recovery, a welcome return to defecating 'normally.' Drawing on interviews with active and recovering heroin users in southern England, we focus on this moment of transition in order to illuminate the experiences and transitions between a dysfunctional, constipated body and 'normal' defecation. We discuss the contrast between candor in talk in active use with the silences surrounding defecation talk in recovery, and analyze these twin shifts within the context of a historical progression within Europe toward ever-increasing levels of masking defecation from social life. Located thus, this analysis of the tipping point between constipation and 'normality,' disclosure and embarrassment, provides a powerful lens through which to view the invisibility of defecation in contemporary British social life.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2013 · Medical Anthropology
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