Genetics, the privatisation of risk and the politics of victim blaming (in Polish)

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Jan Domaradzki


The concept of risk is one of the key categories of modern medicine. By stressing its three types, environmental risk, risk associated with lifestyle and genetic risk, medicine emphasizes personal responsibility for health and the management of risk. This results in bringing complex social problems down to the personal level. Such politics of “victim blaming” is reinforced by genetics, which emphasizes inherited predispositions to diseases, thus shifting responsibility for health from the government toward the individual. Medicine argues that health and illness depend on biochemical laws and personal lifestyle. Because information regarding risks is omnipresent it is impossible to be unaware of them. Ignorance and negligence are treated as irresponsibility. Consequently, medicine promotes the idea that disease can be prevented. It obliges individuals to look for information and to manage personal risk. Yet, it masks the social determinants of health and the necessity of social reforms.


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How to Cite
Domaradzki, Jan. 2012. “Genetics, the Privatisation of Risk and the Politics of Victim Blaming (in Polish)”. Diametros, no. 32 (June):1-18.
Special topic – Bioethics and genetics
Author Biography

Jan Domaradzki, Poznan University of Medical Sciences

Jan Domaradzki, PhD Laboratory of Health Sociology and Social Pathology Chair of Social Sciences Department of Social Sciences Poznan University of Medical Sciences ul. Dąbrowskiego 79 Pl-60-529 Poznan, Poland
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