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Med Anthropol. 2008 Jan-Mar;27(1):9-42. doi: 10.1080/01459740701831401.

Smoking among doctors: governmentality, embodiment, and the diversion of blame in contemporary China.

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Department of Anthropology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-2034, USA.


How and to what effect have physicians in China become frequent cigarette smokers and blamed as engines of nationwide tobacco-induced suffering? Building on governmentality heuristics, I argue that multilevel interactions of biopolitics and male embodiment have been especially significant in shaping these phenomena. Of the effects gleaned in my fieldwork ongoing since 2003, the most important is a deflection of responsibility for tobacco-induced death away from incoherent leadership decisions--some aimed at protecting Chinese citizens from tobacco, others at facilitating trillions of cigarettes being sold annually in the PRC--made over recent years in and outside the country.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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