The enactment of private health insurance in Chile

Ossandon, Jose Gustavo. 2010. The enactment of private health insurance in Chile. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

Text (The enhancement of private health insurance in Chile)
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Abstract or Description

This research focuses on the case of private health insurance in Chile. This system was created during Pinochet's military dictatorship in the context of the economic reforms lead by a group of economists known as the 'Chicago Boys'. Two main elements distinguish the approach developed in this work. First, it applies new developments in the social studies of markets, or what is currently known as 'cultural economy', in analyze IQ a case that has not been seen from this point of view. This research does not just aim to study the 'social' factors that explain the evolution of private health insurance, nor its social consequence. This work is interested in understanding the insurance itself. Using Anne Marie Mol's notion, what is studied here, is the 'enactment' of new 'market things'. This work has been focused in four main questions, the enactment of four different but connected 'market things' in private health insurance: the private health insurance's product, good, property, and commodity. In general, studies in current 'cultural economy' have been carried out in the context of developed countries, and without producing a clear view on neo-liberalization. This research started from the assumption that producing such an exercise would expand the area of empirical research of current conceptual trends in the social sciencesl but it would also give new ways of understanding the recent historical evolution in Chile and Latin America. Therefore this thesis aims to produce an innovative conceptual framework in order to understanding neo-liberalization. It is argued that to make health insurance private, to privatize, is not merely the transference of a public good to a private administrator, but a much more complex process. The development of the studied case shows, that it is not just about enacting new market things, but many new actors, borders and collectives. The current work aims to illuminate such processes.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

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private health insurance, military dictatorship, neo-liberalization



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Date Deposited:

12 Jul 2023 15:58

Last Modified:

08 Aug 2023 15:00


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