, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp 279-285
Date: 27 May 2006

Contentious terminology and complicated cartography of anti-aging medicine

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Abstract

Serving as an introduction to the cultural significance of the contemporary emergence of anti-aging medicine, this article outlines some of the distinctions and controversies regarding the usage of the term “anti-aging medicine.” By sketching out the complex field of researchers, practitioners, organizations, companies it is clear that “anti-aging medicine” is a highly contentious term that means different things to different groups. Thus, analysis demands a keen attention to contextualizing its usage. However, despite the critically important distinctions in how “anti-aging medicine” is used and what it connotes both to the user and the audience, the core principle of anti-aging is the notion that aging can be targeted for biomedical intervention. It is the orientation toward this explicit goal that marks anti-aging medicine. While neither advocating for/against anti-aging medicine nor excavating the large body of biological literature, this ethnographically researched article explicates the cultural use of “anti-aging medicine” and maps out its main varieties, controversies, stakes, and challenges.