The Everyday Politics of Risk: Managing diabetes in Fiji Academic Article uri icon


  • In this article, I investigate how diabetes-related risks are experienced and managed in Fiji. Neoliberal discourses implore patients to be risk-averse and blame poorer Indigenous (iTaukei) people with diabetes for "irresponsible" treatment choices and medication "noncompliance." Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork conducted during 2015-16, I suggest lower-income iTaukei people with diabetes face multiple layers of risk in everyday life beyond biomedical definitions, including spiritual threats; cultural politics; and limited healthcare access. People with diabetes pragmatically weigh up these risks when choosing whether to seek treatment, be it biomedical, faith-based, pharmaceutical, or herbal remedies. Better understanding how patients experience and manage risk will improve diabetes care.

publication date

  • 2020