Hormonal Theory: A Rebellious Glossary

Andrea Ford* (Editor), Lisa Raeder (Editor), Roslyn Malcolm (Editor), Sonja Erikainen (Editor), Celia Roberts (Editor)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Book/ReportAnthology

Abstract / Description of output

This book plays with the biomedical idea that hormones can be conceived as discrete entities. Using a wealth of qualitative social science and humanities research, the entries in this glossary illustrate how hormones mediate bodies, relations, and affects in complex ways that exceed the biophysical. The various chemicals classified as hormones not only constitute bodies and their experiential realities, as is commonly reflected in medical explanations, but experiential realities in turn constitute the chemical processes of bodies. This glossary explores how hormones are increasingly a site for managing social and ecological relations, and how this can result in both the medicalization of relations and affects, and resistance to such medicalization. Including entries about ‘reproductive’ or ‘sex’ hormones, other kinds of hormones produced by human, animal, and plant bodies, and manufactured chemicals including pharmaceuticals and environmental endocrine disruptors, the book argues against the common distinctions that underpin socio-cultural ideas about sex, gender, and “natural” hormonal states. While each entry takes a biomedically recognized hormonal compound as its starting point, they all work to complicate, elaborate, and confound biomedical understandings of hormones, showing how hormones never operate in isolation from other hormones, nor bodies in isolation from other human and non-human bodies or their social-ecological surroundings. Indeed, all of these ‘cascade’ into one another. This volume, then, is not simply a social companion to biomedical knowledge about hormones, but a challenge to the conceptual underpinnings of current dominant understandings of disease, wellness, and normalcy.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherBloomsbury Academic
Number of pages248
ISBN (Electronic)9781350323001
ISBN (Print)9781350322981, 9781350322998
Publication statusPublished - 7 Mar 2024

Publication series

NameTheory in the New Humanities
PublisherBloomsbury Academic


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