Race for Cures: Rethinking the Racial Logics of 'Trust' in Biomedicine

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19 Scopus citations


This article examines the normative underpinnings of 'trust talk', asking how biomedical discourse constructs racial group boundaries and what implications this has for our understanding of the politics of medicine more broadly. Drawing upon a 2-year multi-method study of the world's largest stem cell research initiative and extending key insights from the sociology of race-ethnicity and social studies of science and medicine, this paper identifies three ways in which discourse in the stem cell field constructs racial group boundaries - through diversity outreach, clinical gatekeeping, and charismatic collaborations. In so doing, the paper also explicates counter-narratives - medical racial profiling, subversive whiteness, and biopolitical minstrelsy - as forms of discursive resistance that challenge the normative underpinnings of recruitment discourse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)755-769
Number of pages15
JournalSociology Compass
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2014
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Social Sciences


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