Local bacteria, transnational laboratory: The politics of cholera research in Bangladesh

Date created: 
2007
Keywords: 
Bangladesh
Cholera
Arsenic Disaster
Postcolonial Nation-state
Transnational Laboratory
Bacteria-dwelling Subjectivity
Abstract: 

This work explores ways in which a situation of endemic cholera, the emergence of humanitarian science and the marginality of nation-state are mutually constitutive in Bangladesh. Reconstructing parallel histories of pain and suffering of a cholera stricken population and humanitarian science, I have argued that violence and vivisection is endemic to this co-construction process. I examine the paradoxes of humanitarianism and contradictions of public health policies at length, looking particularly the promotion of bacteriologically safe water and its consequences. I suggest that the structural condition under which a cholera epidemic becomes a manageable health problem itself inflicts an unmanageable health problem ­ the arsenic disaster. In Bangladesh, the declining of child mortality due to diarrhoea coincides with a biosocial situation in which incidences of arsenicosis alarmingly increases. I have shown here that scientific discovery happen in the postcolonial context at the cost of creating new forms of social suffering.

Description: 
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Language: 
English
Document type: 
Thesis
Rights: 
Copyright remains with the author
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
S
Department: 
Dept. of Sociology and Anthropology - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.A.)
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