Circulating beliefs, resilient metaphors and faith in biomedicine: hepatitis C patients and interferon combination therapy.

Research paper by Anton A Jenner, Anne A Scott

Indexed on: 23 Feb '08Published on: 23 Feb '08Published in: Sociology of Health & Illness


In this paper, we argue that circulating metaphors and beliefs can create an environment in which particular biomedical treatments make cultural sense, even if they seem to be ineffective or are associated with unpleasant side effects. We develop this argument in relation to interferon combined therapy. An innovative methodology combining the collection and deconstructive analysis of visual and narrative texts produced by people with hepatitis C is used to demonstrate links between a predisposition towards Western biomedical practice, discomfort with uncertainty, a desire to reassert control, and adoption of conflict metaphors associated with the tropes of invasion and eradication.