Smoking among Doctors: Governmentality, Embodiment, and the Diversion of Blame in Contemporary China

  title={Smoking among Doctors: Governmentality, Embodiment, and the Diversion of Blame in Contemporary China},
  author={Matthew Kohrman},
  journal={Medical Anthropology},
  pages={42 - 9}
  • M. Kohrman
  • Published 11 February 2008
  • Political Science
  • Medical Anthropology
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… 

New Steps for Tobacco Control In and Outside of China

  • M. Kohrman
  • Medicine, Political Science
    Asia-Pacific journal of public health
  • 2010
It is argued that China’s ongoing popular quiescence regarding tobacco stems in part from strategic miscalculations that public health advocates are making.

Curating Employee Ethics: Self-Glory Amidst Slow Violence at The China Tobacco Museum

The China Tobacco Museum in Shanghai is a striking illustration that industrial strongholds of ‘slow violence’ produce their own forms of self-care.

Of farming chemicals and cancer deaths: the politics of health in contemporary rural China

Where do Chinese villagers lay the blame when they develop cancer? The focus falls on the state when the supposed cause is water pollution; on the family context when it is hard work; and on the

Tobacco talk: reflections on corporate power and the legal framing of consumption.

  • P. Benson
  • Economics
    Medical anthropology quarterly
  • 2010
The core psychological defense mechanisms that tobacco companies have crafted for people associated with the industry are specified and document local social, cultural, and economic factors in rural North Carolina that underpin ongoing rural dependence on tobacco despite the negativity that surrounds tobacco and structural adjustments.

Good clean tobacco: Philip Morris, biocapitalism, and the social course of stigma in North Carolina

In this article, I analyze the central role of economic liberalization in Philip Morris's makeover into a “responsible corporate citizen,” including the firm's unlikely support for U.S. Food and Drug

Smoking and ethics: what are the duties of oncologists?

This editorial argues that oncologists have three duties; they should be role models, strongly advise their own patients to stop smoking and advocate for tobacco-free environments in their patients' communities and work to ratify the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in their own country.

Filtered Life: Air Purification, Gender, and Cigarettes in the People's Republic of China

Air purification in Chinese contexts over the last half century has been generative for a way of being human, what the author calls “filtered life.” This is a materially, aesthetically, and even

The Age Prevalence of Smoking among Chinese Women : A Case of Arrested Diffusion ? *

The analysis shows how this pattern is counter to that predicted by the leading theoretical perspectives on the diffusion of smoking and discusses how it arose out of the special culture of gender relations in China, rather than from particular socio-economic or political events.

The Decline of Smoking Among Female Birth Cohorts in China in the 20th Century: A Case of Arrested Diffusion?

The analysis shows how this pattern is counter to that predicted by the leading theoretical perspectives on the diffusion of smoking and suggests that it arose out of a mix of Confucian traditions relating to gender and the socio-economic and political events early in the twentieth century which placed emerging women’s identities in conflict with national identities.

Gender and Tobacco in (Globalizing) Asia – Exorcizing the Ghosts of Dualistic Thought?

This paper investigates the intersections between tobacco, gender and globalizing Asia. I argue that binary tropes like modernity/westernization-tradition and masculinity–femininity are incessantly



Depoliticizing Tobacco's Exceptionality: Male Sociality, Death and Memory-Making among Chinese Cigarette Smokers

This article explore the immobilizing of blame apportioning towards the industrial and governmental sources of nicotine addiction, in terms of a specific set of Chinese citizens whom the author has

Should I Quit? Tobacco, Fraught Identity, And The Risks of Governmentality In Urban China

How do people come to understand, produce, and respond to emergent regulatory initiatives of public health, new complications in the management of desire, citizenship, health, and identity? This is

Globalizing Tobacco Control: Anti-smoking Campaigns in California, France, and Japan

A tangible aspect of living, working, and travelling in the 21st century is the experience of moving between smoke-filled and smoke-free environments. In "Globalizing Tobacco Control", Roddey Reid

Learning to Smoke: Tobacco Use in the West

Jason Hughes begins by tracing the transformations of tobacco and its use over time, from its role as a hallucinogen in Native American shamanistic ritual to its use as a prophylactic against the plague and a cure for cancer by early Europeans, and finally to the current view of smoking as a global pandemic.

market magic: getting rich and getting personal in medicine after Mao

Focusing on private medical practices in a north China county town, this article explores a shift toward the personal in the world of small business and popular healing, as a particular cultural response to the demise of the pervasive collectivism of the Maoist state.

Narcotic Culture: A History of Drugs in China

"Narcotic Culture" provides abundant evidence that the transition from a tolerated opium culture to a system of prohibition produced a "cure" that was far worse than the disease.

Not quite gentlemen? Doctors in Sung and Yuan.

Who were the doctors in traditional China? What were their social origins? What was their status? Students of the social history of Chinese medicine agree on the importance of these and similar

Tobacco control in China: the dilemma between economic development and health improvement.

  • Hong Wang
  • Medicine, Political Science
    Salud publica de Mexico
  • 2006
Although China has already made significant efforts with regard to tobacco control, it is still in the beginning of its "long march" towards improving the population's health status by reducing tobacco consumption in China.

Rationality and self-control: the implications for smoking cessation

AIDS and Accusation: Haiti and the Geography of Blame

Does the scientific "theory" that HIV came to North America from Haiti stem from underlying attitudes of racism and ethnocentrism in the USA rather than from hard evidence? Anthropologist-physician