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Mapping citizen expertise about environmental risk of breast cancer

Potts, Laura (2004) Mapping citizen expertise about environmental risk of breast cancer. Critical Social Policy, 24 (4). pp. 551-576.

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A range of different communities of interest make knowledge claims regarding the association between environmental hazards and breast cancer, including policy makers, epidemiologists, scientists, activists in the breast cancer/environment movement, and women with breast cancer. The paper considers how the fences and defences between these groupings are maintained through differential relations of power and legitimacy, and how these are challenged by the ‘citizen expertise’ of those in the movement. This has the potential to yield a repositioning of science in society, based on an eco-social epidemiological paradigm and the paramountcy of public health protection. The paper draws on the author’s involvement in the breast cancer/environment movement in the UK and, to a more limited extent, in the Bay Area of California; it also suggests some initial insights from a small-scale pilot study undertaken as part of the Economic and Social Research Council’s Science in Society programme. In particular, it considers how the expertise of citizens, captured through a process of community mapping, may usefully contribute to an understanding of breast cancer aetiology that includes experiential, embodied knowledge.

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0261018304046676
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
School/Department: School of Science, Technology and Health
URI: https://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/39

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