Table of contents

About this book


This book explores the growing intellectual interest in the politics of immunity. It argues that taking an ‘immunitary perspective’ is necessary if we are to better appreciate the body as a site of politics in the contemporary age. It explores the dynamic tensions between community and immunity, belonging and fragmentation, the social and the individual. It creates a dialogue between the social sciences, humanities and biopolitical philosophy around immunity. 

Immunitary Life empirically situates immunitary politics in real-world debates. This includes blood donation and evolving notions of embodied intimacy in the worlds of transplantation. It examines changing ideas about infectivity, bugs, and the emergence of ‘resistance’ in antibiotics. The politics of vaccination offers a classic context for thinking about the ever changing relationships between the communal and the individual. Immunitary Life is essential reading for contemporary scholarship in the sociology of the body and the political philosophy of biomedicine.


Immunity Biopolitics Immunitary Bioeconomy Antimicrobial Resistance Communitary

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of YorkYorkUK

About the authors

Nik Brown is Professor in Science and Technology Studies at the Department of Sociology at the University of York, UK. He writes extensively on key debates in the politics of biomedicine and the sociology of the body.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Immunitary Life
  • Book Subtitle A Biopolitics of Immunity
  • Authors Nik Brown
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2019
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, London
  • eBook Packages Medicine Medicine (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-1-137-55246-4
  • Softcover ISBN 978-1-349-71601-2
  • eBook ISBN 978-1-137-55247-1
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages VII, 255
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Theory of Medicine/Bioethics
  • Buy this book on publisher's site