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Durham University

Department of Sociology

Research Projects

Publication details

Burges Watson, D, Moreira, T & Murtagh, MJ (2009). Little bottles and the promise of probiotics. Health: an Interdisciplinary Journal for the Social Study of Health, Illness and Medicine 13 (2): 219-234

Author(s) from Durham


In this article we explore `regimes of hope' in contemporary bioscience as articulated in spaces of health consumption. We use the case study of probiotic little bottles, highlighting their promissory branding as consumer products, to consider how hope and truth play out across different spaces of health care — the supermarket, media and laboratory. Drawing on work within both sociological and geographic literatures to think about hope, truth and probiotics, this article explores their ambiguous promise through an analysis of their biomedical and popular representation. The seemingly incommensurate promise of probiotics between popular and medical spheres provides the point of departure for an examination of the geographies of hope, truth and selfhood.

Department of Sociology