23. Biocommunicability

  1. Dr Merrill Singer and
  2. Pamela I. Erickson
  1. Charles L. Briggs

Published Online: 14 JUL 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9781444395303.ch23

A Companion to Medical Anthropology

A Companion to Medical Anthropology

How to Cite

Briggs, C. L. (2011) Biocommunicability, in A Companion to Medical Anthropology (eds M. Singer and P. I. Erickson), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444395303.ch23

Editor Information

  1. Department of Anthropology, University of Connecticut, USA

Author Information

  1. Department of Anthropology of the University of California, Berkeley, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 14 JUL 2011
  2. Published Print: 8 APR 2011

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405190022

Online ISBN: 9781444395303



  • biocommunicability;
  • linking biopolitics to constructions - of “information” and “communication”;
  • continual emergence of new digitally based technologies - keeping track of forms of spectacularlization;
  • (bio)medicalization and lingustification - scrutinized processes of medicalization;
  • dimensions of social life - converted into “information” or “communication”;
  • processes of biomedicalization - new objects working hand-in-hand with linguistification;
  • linguistification in analysis of narratives - in medical anthropology;
  • from communication to communicability - people taking turns, building on each others words;
  • communicative dimensions - projected in news stories alongside biomedical objects;
  • biocommunicable cartographies - projecting spaces through which knowledge about health moves


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Introduction

  • (Bio)Medicalization and Lingustification

  • Linguistification in the Analysis of Narratives in Medical Anthropology

  • From Communication to Communicability

  • What Can Communicable Cartographies Tell Us?

  • Conclusion

  • References

  • Further Reading