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Race for Cures: Rethinking the Racial Logics of ‘Trust’in Biomedicine

Author(s): Benjamin, Ruha

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Abstract: This article examines the normative underpinnings of ‘trust talk’, asking how biomedical discourse constructs racial group boundaries and what implications this has for our understanding of the politics of medicine more broadly. Drawing upon a 2‐year multi‐method study of the world's largest stem cell research initiative and extending key insights from the sociology of race–ethnicity and social studies of science and medicine, this paper identifies three ways in which discourse in the stem cell field constructs racial group boundaries – through diversity outreach, clinical gatekeeping, and charismatic collaborations. In so doing, the paper also explicates counter‐narratives – medical racial profiling, subversive whiteness, and biopolitical minstrelsy – as forms of discursive resistance that challenge the normative underpinnings of recruitment discourse.
Publication Date: Jun-2014
Citation: Benjamin, Ruha. "Race for Cures: Rethinking the Racial Logics of ‘Trust’in Biomedicine." (2014).
DOI: doi:10.1111/soc4.12167
ISSN: 1751-9020
Pages: 755 - 769
Language: English
Type of Material: Journal Article
Journal/Proceeding Title: Sociology Compass
Version: Final published version. This is an open access article.

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