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BeautyscapesMapping Cosmetic Surgery Tourism$
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Ruth Holliday, Meredith Jones, and David Bell

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781526134257

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.7765/9781526134264

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Decentring and disorienting cosmetic surgery tourism

Decentring and disorienting cosmetic surgery tourism

(p.144) 7 Decentring and disorienting cosmetic surgery tourism

Ruth Holliday

Meredith Jones

David Bell

Manchester University Press

This chapter challenges some of the dominant framings of international medical travel through a discussion of the shifting geographies that have reshaped patient flows, redefined centres of excellence and expertise, and redrawn the world map of medical tourism. We show how cosmetic surgery tourism has ‘decentred’ previous models of medical travel, drawing on previous discussions of South–South, cross-border and regional patient movements. We explore how our empirical work and its theorising helps us in decolonising and disorienting understandings of how cosmetic surgery tourism is assembled geographically – where geography is as much imagined as it is a material reality. Using insights from fieldwork in South Korea, Thailand and Tunisia, we counter the dominant view of footloose global elites gliding seamlessly around the world in search of transformation. Our patient journeys were very different, often leading to disorientation.

Keywords:   patient flows, geography, cross-border, regional, disorientation

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