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Life ExposedBiological Citizens after Chernobyl$
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Adriana Petryna

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691151663

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691151663.001.0001

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Illness as Work: Human Market Transition

Illness as Work: Human Market Transition

(p.82) Chapter 4 Illness as Work: Human Market Transition
Life Exposed

Adriana Petryna

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines the “epidemic” of disability in post-Soviet Ukraine, and more specifically how state laws on the social protection of Chernobyl sufferers have turned suffering and disability into a resource affecting family, work, and social identity. It shows how the line between sickness and health becomes a highly politicized one as traditional forms of Soviet social organization, particularly the labor collective, are being replaced by a new architecture of welfare claims, privileges, laws, and identities. It also discusses the role of the Exclusion Zone in an informal Soviet economy and capitalist transition, as well as the ways in which workers micromanage inflation with a sick role sociality in their everyday lives. Finally, it considers the establishment of medical-labor committees to handle the growing number of disability claims related to the Chernobyl explosion and highlights a city of sufferers where so many individuals have gained their illnesses for life.

Keywords:   disability, post-Soviet Ukraine, social protection, Chernobyl sufferers, suffering, welfare claims, Exclusion Zone, sick role sociality, medical-labor committees, disability claims

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