IW02
Rethinking the body: biotechnology and sociality

Convenors:
Susan Whyte (University of Copenhagen)
Sahra Gibbon (University College, London)
Stream:
Invited workshops
Location:
R1
Start time:
28 August, 2008 at 9:00
Session slots:
3

Short abstract:

Body practices and sociality itself can be deeply affected by biotechnology. But are they? How and for whom? We invite researchers to explore critically the bodily and social consequences of diagnostic technology with an eye to differences in access and life conditions.

Long abstract:

The experience, perception and practice of the body can be deeply affected by biotechnology, as much recent research has shown. Sociality itself may take on new forms based on diagnostic, therapeutic, and rehabilitative technology. But does it? And for whom? In this panel we invite researchers working in a variety of settings in the Global North and South to explore the bodily and social consequences of biotechnology. The main focus is on diagnostic technology: genetic testing, antenatal screening, tests for the whole range of infectious and non-communicable diseases, as well as measurements of health status through weight, BMI, and standardized scales.. To what extent is authoritative knowledge from such mechanisms incorporated and what are the dynamic processes through which it comes to make a difference...or not...for bodies, selves, subjectivities, identities, and sociality? We invite papers that highlight processes of transformation, resistance and also the gaps between technology, identity or sociality and the body.We also encourage a comparative perspective that considers inequalities in access and differences in life conditions.