Molecularisation and metaphor

David Armstrong*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    3 Citations (Scopus)


    This article explores the molecularisation of medicine thesis by investigating reports on genetics and molecular medicine in the New England Journal of Medicine. While there has indeed been a large increase in the number of references to molecules in the context of genetics over the last few decades these are mostly embedded in a framework of explanatory metaphors, namely (gene) expressivity, penetrance, regulation and pathways. As most of these metaphors are drawn from the social world it would appear that the molecularisation thesis - that social life is becoming dominated by the molecular - needs to be tempered by the ways in which understanding of that molecular world is itself a reflection of social life.

    Original languageEnglish
    JournalSociology of Health and Illness
    Publication statusAccepted/In press - 20 Apr 2017


    • Genetisation
    • Medicalisation
    • Metaphor
    • Molecularisation


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