“Ceci n’est pas une pipe”: A Comparison of French and U.S. Health Research on the Neurodevelopmental and Epigenetic Effects of Tobacco Exposure on Vulnerable Populations

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2016-04-25

Authors

Hwang, Laurie

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Jenson, Deborah

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Abstract

This thesis explores how cultural beliefs and practices influence biomedical research landscapes in two high resource cultural contexts, the US and the Euro-American francophone world. First, I examine how cultural mores have differently shaped the pace of research engagement in the two economically advanced societies with advanced “Western” health research infrastructure and shared scientific goals. Through examining historical and global discourses of ADHD and perceptions of the disorder, I argue that the diagnosis we call “Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)” is not a novel phenomenon of modern times, nor is its epidemic limited to the US. I then propose that different conceptions of liberty, approaches to public health, and realities of social and political systems all contribute to the divergence of social movements, regulations, and research. Finally, I suggest a cross-cultural approach to the science of tobacco’s effect on the developing brain as an essential conceptual change to advance the current understanding of the disorder and reducing global health disparities.

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Hwang, Laurie (2016). “Ceci n’est pas une pipe”: A Comparison of French and U.S. Health Research on the Neurodevelopmental and Epigenetic Effects of Tobacco Exposure on Vulnerable Populations. Honors thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/11866.


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