June Special Issue: Biopolitics, psychosomatics, participating bodies


Editor’s Note:

Welcome to our June Special Issue, Biopolitics and Psychosomatics. But what are Biopolitics? And what, for that matter, are psychosomatics? Both terms are charged, and frequently divisive—with the latter often defined as physician illness with a root cause in mental factors. Controversy is no reason to shy away from critical engagement, however. In this special issue, authors take a long look at questions of responsibility, motivation, choice and self-management in health by investigating the multiple connotations of the terms. In addition, the articles individually seek to reclaim some of the possibilities associated historically with the project of a ‘psychosomatic medicine’.  Given the resurgence of political rhetoric that foregrounds individual responsibility, while questioning benefit entitlements and the authenticity of illnesses or disabilities, such focus is of vital social importance. The medical humanities, as inter- and cross-disciplinary study, provides an excellent lens through which to view these issues—and we are pleased, in addition, to provide a platform for engagement and dialogue. For more on the genesis of the project, please visit the Medical Humanities Podcast featuring guest editor Monica Greco, and join us at the blog for lay summaries of articles. The new issue is up at the Journal Site: https://mh.bmj.com/


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