From folklore to fact: The rhetorical history of breastfeeding and immunity, 1950-1997

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Abstract

This article examines the recent construction of human milk's immune-protective qualities as scientific fact, demonstrating that long-standing controversies about human milk's immune-protective effects have not been resolved by a particular scientific discovery. Rather, experts' consensus on how to respond to this uncertainty has been transformed, and this transformation has had as much to do with a change in the metaphor that governs interpretation of evidence about immune protection as it has with discovering new evidence about either human milk or the antibodies in it.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-166
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Medical Humanities
Volume27
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2006

Keywords

  • Breastfeeding
  • History of medicine
  • Immune system
  • Medical discourse
  • Metaphor
  • Rhetoric of science

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