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Adding collaborative connective labor to the antidepressant bioeconomy


McLeod, K, Adding collaborative connective labor to the antidepressant bioeconomy, Knowledge, Culture, Economy International conference, 3-5 November 2014, Sydney, Australia (2014) [Conference Extract]

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The two key actors in most accounts of the antidepressant bioeconomy are the consumers who purchase a pill that 'works' to change their brain neurochemistry and the profiting pharmaceutical companies. This presentation develops an expanded account of antidepressant-related economic activity based on diversified forms of labor. A research project with people who take antidepressants is drawn on to illustrate how the antidepressant pill as an object can accelerate particular kinds of labor. This work is defined here as 'collaborative connective labor', the energy expenditure of human and nonhuman entities in forming connections. The presentation demonstrates how the intensified connective activity around the antidepressant object forms an organised and contained assemblage. Antidepressant drug 'effects' and the 'depressed' subject form are shown to emerge from this assemblage. It is argued that the depression and pharmaceutical industries extract capital from these collective formations. The paper then discusses the implications of adding collaborative connective labour to understandings of the antidepressant bioeconomy. It concludes by discussing how the empirical examination of specific drug assemblages is a way of expanding what counts as economic activity in drug bioeconomies.

Item Details

Item Type:Conference Extract
Keywords:antidepressants, labour, Deleuze, assemblage
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Sociology
Research Field:Sociological methodology and research methods
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in human society
UTAS Author:McLeod, K (Dr Kim McLeod)
ID Code:137809
Year Published:2014
Deposited By:Office of the School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2020-03-04
Last Modified:2020-04-21

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