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Technologized Images, Technologized Bodies

Technologized Images, Technologized Bodies

Jeanette Edwards
Penny Harvey
Peter Wade
Copyright Date: 2010
Edition: NED - New edition, 1
Published by: Berghahn Books
Pages: 270
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  • Book Info
    Technologized Images, Technologized Bodies
    Book Description:

    The modern world is saturated with images. Scientific knowledge of the human body (in all its variety) is highly dependent on the technological generation of visual data - brain and body scans, x-rays, diagrams, graphs and charts. New technologies afford scientists and medical experts new possibilities for probing and revealing previously invisible and inaccessible areas of the body. The existing literature has been successful in mapping the impact and implications of new medical technologies and in marrying the visual and the body but thus far has focused only narrowly on particular kinds of technology or taken only a purely textual/visual (cultural studies) approach to images of the body. Combining approaches from three of the most dynamic and popular fields of contemporary social anthropology - the study of the visual, the study of the technological and the study of the human body - this volume draws these together and interrogates their intersection using insights from ethnographic approaches. Offering a fascinating and wide range of perspectives, the chapters in this volume bring an innovative focus that reflects the authors' shared interest in 'the body' and visualising technologies.

    eISBN: 978-1-84545-830-0
    Subjects: Anthropology, Health Sciences

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-v)
  3. List of Figures and Tables
    (pp. vi-vii)
  4. Preface and Acknowledgements
    (pp. viii-viii)
    Jeanette Edwards, Penny Harvey and Peter Wade
  5. Chapter 1 Technologized Images, Technologized Bodies
    (pp. 1-36)
    Jeanette Edwards, Penny Harvey and Peter Wade

    As we write the introduction to this volume, the media reports on a dispute between athlete Oscar Pistorius and the International Association of Athletics Federation. Pistorius, whose legs are amputated at the knee, is running on carbon-composite prostheses developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). In the 2007 South African Senior Track and Field Championships, Pistorius came second in the 400 metres. The Federation is deliberating whether his prostheses gave him an unfair advantage over the able-bodied runners against whom he was competing. The director of the Biomechatronics Group at MIT, Professor Hugh Herr, himself a double amputee, observes...

  6. Chapter 2 Pharmaceutical Witnessing: Drugs for Life in an Era of Direct-to-consumer Advertising
    (pp. 37-64)
    Joseph Dumit

    As an anthropologist studying pharmaceuticals in the U.S., I am constantly tripped up by statements that seem to challenge my common sense, ones made by pharmaceutical marketers, advertisers, doctors and patients. A life on drugs is not alien to me, nor to most readers of this article. We often are on prescriptions and we might be on them for life. But the easy emission of these statements points to a cultural inflection that I want to investigate here using what Victor Turner called the method of processuralism in anthropology, attending to processes that we are involved in and to how...

  7. Chapter 3 Picturing the Brain Inside, Revealing the Illness Outside: A Comparison of the Different Meanings Attributed to Brain Scans by Scientists and Patients
    (pp. 65-84)
    Simon Cohn

    Go into an average psychiatric ward and you will not see many physical objects that could be said to represent any ongoing therapeutic intervention explicitly. There are no specific machines, no white coats, no stethoscopes around the neck. There may be some frayed armchairs, a pool table in a common room perhaps, and a notice board or two, but these mundane, everyday things do virtually nothing to symbolise the focus of clinical care. And though there may well be a range of material and immaterial objects beyond the ward that serve this function for the staff, for the patients themselves...

  8. Chapter 4 Embodied Brains: Why Science Studies Needs the Anthropology of Museums
    (pp. 85-116)
    Anne Lorimer

    Early work in the anthropology of science (Martin 1987, 1994) demonstrated that scientific representations of the body are loaded with implicit moral metaphors, metaphors that map between physiological entities on the one hand and socioeconomic formations or personae on the other. However, such work did not focus on explaining how those metaphors, which often are ones that would be disavowed by scientists, became part of these scientific representations. If we want to understand why scientific representations have the particular symbolic resonances they do in the public sphere, then we need to look at mediating processes, which involve the labour not...

  9. Chapter 5 Spectacles of Reason: An Ethnography of Indian Gastroenterologists
    (pp. 117-136)
    Stefan Ecks

    In November 1999, I had the chance to participate in the ‘First Indo-US Gastrointestinal Endoscopy Workshop’, a transnational medical conference organized by the West Bengal Chapter of the Indian Society of Gastroenterology and co-sponsored by the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE). The main venue of the two-day event was the Oberoi Grand Hotel at Calcutta, one of the city’s five-star hotels. In the large auditorium, a stage had been built to accommodate a white-clothed table for eight panellists and four video screens. The screens displayed live images transmitted from the operating theatres of two Calcuttan endoscopy centres. One screen...

  10. Chapter 6 Technokids? Insulin Pumps Incorporated in Young People’s Bodies and Lives
    (pp. 137-160)
    Griet Scheldeman

    In 1981 Dr Pickup and his colleagues at Guy’s Hospital Medical School in London, pioneers in insulin pump therapy, published reactions of the first 15 diabetics after trying the ‘portable syringe pump’ for a period of three weeks (Pickup 1981). Most patients had better metabolic control with the pump, they also felt better, appreciating the greater flexibility of diet and insulin delivery rates. Many patients reported that carrying a device that was noted by others made them more aware of being a diabetic. Moreover, relying on a mechanical device for the delivery of a life-supporting drug caused uneasiness. Some patients...

  11. Chapter 7 Wearable Augmentations: Imaginaries of the Informed Body
    (pp. 161-184)
    Ana Viseu and Lucy Suchman

    Almost all Marquesan art was attached to the human body (e.g., tattooing, adornment). Moreover, the art that was not intrinsically part of the human body (e.g., weapons, canoes, furnishings of houses, etc.) was conceptually treated as if it were. Thus, a chief’s canoe was part of his body, had a personal name which was one of his own set of names, if injury was done to it, injury was done to him, and so on.

    Alfred Gell (1998: 168)

    The intimate and meaningful association between persons, bodies and artefacts is a recurring theme across anthropological accounts, from classic ethnographic texts...

  12. Chapter 8 ‘Embryos Are Our Baby’: Abridging Hope, Body and Nation in Transnational Ova Donation
    (pp. 185-210)
    Michal Nahman

    In aid of the rise of modern nation-states, state forces were mobilized to control bodies, according to Michel Foucault, through ‘biopower’ or ‘techniques of the body’ (Foucault 1978). This included the technologies of counting, measuring and looking in order to control the bodies of populations. Such an account of the relationship between governing forces and people (individuals and populations) in poststructuralist theory has inspired much writing detailing instances of biopower (which are too many to list here). Foucault’s work has been useful for feminist critiques of the ways in which scientific practices of reproduction reproduce the ‘national body’ in quantity...

  13. Chapter 9 Living Differently in Time: Plasticity, Temporality and Cellular Biotechnologies
    (pp. 211-236)
    Hannah Landecker

    Interest in biotechnology has been increasing in the humanities and social sciences, causing a proliferation of specific case studies of individual technologies or particular processes. This article offers ways to supplement these studies, identifying genres of technique common to biotechnological objects of disparate kinds, opening up avenues for research not organized by species (especially the human one) or a particular object. Whatisbiotechnology, not as a scientific and technical field but as a field of social scientific or critical cultural inquiry? Different studies of diverse biotechnologies or biomedical developments are often linked by the theoretical claim that they are...

  14. Notes on Contributors
    (pp. 237-240)
  15. Index
    (pp. 241-262)