The Socially Constructed Breast: Breast Implants and the Medical Construction of Need
American Journal of Public Health. 1998 Aug; 88(8): 1254-1261.
When silicone gel breast implants became the subject of a public health controversy in the early 1990s, the most pressing concern was safety. This paper looks at another, less publicized issue: the need for implants. Using a symbolic interactionist approach, the author explores the social construction of the need for implants by tracing the history of the 3 surgical procedures for which implants were used. Stakeholders in this history constructed need as legitimized individual desire, the form of which shifted with changes in the technological and social context.
Attitudes; Autonomy; Biomedical Technologies; Breast Cancer; Cancer; Cosmetic Surgery; Females; Food; Government; Government Regulation; Health; Historical Aspects; Mass Media; Medical Devices; Medicine; Patient Care; Physicians; Politics; Preventive Medicine; Psychology; Public Health; Regulation; Rehabilitation; Sociology; Sociology of Medicine; Stakeholders; Surgery; Values; Women's Health;
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