Sulik Article Published in Sociology Compass

For readers interested in medical sociology, I recently published an article on biomedicine and identity in Sociology Compass, a peer reviewed journal that publishes survey articles from across the discipline of sociology.

Citation: Sulik, G. A. (2011), ‘Our Diagnoses, Our Selves’: The Rise of the Technoscientific Illness Identity. Sociology Compass, 5: 463–477. doi: 10.1111/j.1751-9020.2011.00374.x

Abstract: Biomedicine situates the definitions, practices, and controls of the medical system within the field of technoscience, which relies on new knowledge, high technology, and biomedical health and risk surveillance. Since the middle of the 20th century technoscientific efforts to understand human phenomena at the microbiological level have secured the place of the biomedical model of disease and the technology used to understand and manage human bodies, selves, and socialities. Specifically, high technology has provoked a paradigm shift from controlling disease and finding cures (medicalization) to transforming bodies and managing risk through technoscientific means (biomedicalization). Though there has been a major shift in the role of the medical consumer since the 1970s and a general recognition of patients’ rights to meaningful information about their health and illness conditions, biomedicine holds significant authority over peoples’ lives to the degree that biomedicalization now involves the production of individual and collective identities that are constructed through technoscientific means. The technoscientific identity has even become a type of illness identity that involves applying biomedical information and characteristics to a person’s sense of self in the face of illness.

Short Biography: Gayle Sulik, PhD, is a medical sociologist and independent scholar. She received her MA in women’s studies in 2001 and her PhD in sociology in 2004 from the University at Albany (SUNY), where she currently holds an appointment as a research associate. Sulik has also held prior faculty appointments at Vassar College and Texas Woman’s University. Her research emphasizes women’s health, interdisciplinary community research, comparative health contexts, and health policy. She has published scholarly papers on illness identity, technoscience, gender, and care work in Sociology of Health and Illness, Gender and Society, and Qualitative Sociology. Her recent book, Pink Ribbon Blues: How Breast Cancer Culture Undermines Women’s Health was released this year from Oxford University Press.

Correspondence address: Gayle A. Sulik, PhD, Research Associate, Department of Women’s Studies, University at Albany (SUNY), Albany, NY 12222, USA. E-mail:


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“Pink Ribbon Blues”

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