The biotechnical embrace

Cult Med Psychiatry. 2001 Dec;25(4):395-410. doi: 10.1023/a:1013097002487.


This essay discusses three interpretive concepts that link bioscience and biotechnology to society: the medical imaginary, the biotechnical embrace, and the clinical narrative. Drawing on research carried out in the United States and internationally on the culture and political economy of biomedicine, the essay examines these interpretive concepts through examples from studies of patients, clinicians, scientists, and venture capitalists engaged in the worlds of oncology and high technology medicine. These interpretive concepts contribute to an understanding of how the affective dimensions of the experience of patients, clinicians and scientists invested in high technology medicine are fundamental to bioscience and biomedicine, and to the political economy and culture of hope.

MeSH terms

  • Affect
  • Attitude to Health / ethnology*
  • Biomedical Technology*
  • Culture*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / therapy