Public Health Agency of Canada's production of West Nile virus: a Foucauldian analysis




Gislason, Maya Kristin

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Produced through relations of power, West Nile Virus (WNV) as it exists on the Public Health Agency of Canada's (PHAC) website, is an effect of the kinds of knowledge, techniques of power. and disciplinary apparatuses that operate on the website and in society. Cumulatively, these forces have produced WNV as a bio-socio-administrative construct. With reference to Michel Foucault's relations of power and to Jennifer Gore's operationalization of Foucault's techniques of power, this thesis both describes the PHAC's overall production of WNV and analyzes the production process. This thesis illustrates one way that Foucault's theories of power can be used to conduct a social construction analysis. The study also shows conclusively that power relations are an important factor in the production of newly emergent infectious diseases in Canada. It will be of value to other researchers who are interested in the sociological study of disease, public health, and risk.



Public Health Agency of Canada, West Nile virus