Web Roundups

More med anthro web gleanings

We haven’t had a round-up of links for a while, so here goes:
Didier Fassin, “Another Politics of Life is Possible“, Theory, Culture and Society 26(5), 2009.
An argument which Fassin made in his SMA address as well: “The aim of this article is to return to the origins of the concept [of biopolitics] and to confront the issue of life as such. This implies four shifts with respect to Foucault’s theory: (1) Politics is not only about the rules of the game of governing, but also about its stakes. (2) More than the power over life, contemporary societies are characterized by the legitimacy they attach to life. (3) Rather than a normalizing process, the intervention in lives is a production of inequalities. (4) The politics of life, then, is not only a question of governmentality and technologies, but also of meaning and values,” (Fassin 2009).
Michael Specter, “A Life of its Own: Where Will Synthetic Biology Lead Us?“, The New Yorker
“No scientific achievement has promised so much, and none has come with greater risks or clearer possibilities for deliberate abuse,” (Specter 2009).
Forum on synthetic biology with articles by Jay Keasling, Pamela Silver, Evelyn Fox Keller and Filippa Lentzos, BioSocieties 4(2-3), 2009.
Jacob Copeman, editor, “Special Issue on Blood Donation Bioeconomy and Culture“, Body & Society 15(3), 2009.
Erica Gibson, “Swine Flu: Ground Zero”, AAA blog
“When Erica Gibson traveled to La Gloria, Mexico, for fieldwork earlier this year, she found that the emergence of swine flue had dramatically impacted the town.”
Mary Cuddehe, “Patients without Borders: The Rise of Mexican Medical Tourism“, The New Republic, September 11, 2009.
“[Juárez] is one of a few Mexican border towns quietly promoting state-of-the-art hospitals that cater to international patients–Juárez has five such facilities–and betting that refugees from the tattered U.S. health care system will come. On paper, at least, the numbers look promising: According to a 2008 study by Deloitte LLP, 750,000 Americans traveled abroad for medical care in 2007. That number is expected to reach six million by 2010,” (Cuddehe 2009).
Jonathan Kimmelman, “Quack you! Medical Tourism and Stem Cells“, Lost in Translation
Stuart Rennie, “Research data from developing countries as ‘the new gold’“, Global Bioethics Blog
“Making research ethical in such contexts has always been a matter of adding protections and safeguards. Perhaps being ethical in a deeper sense would involve chipping away at the gaping inequalities in power and wealth between the researchers and the researched, but almost no one wants to touch that one: not researchers, not their funders, and (sadly) not governments,” (Rennie 2009).
Patricia Leigh Brown, “A Doctor for Disease, a Shaman for the Soul“, New York Times
“At Mercy Medical Center in Merced, where roughly four patients a day are Hmong from northern Laos, healing includes more than IV drips, syringes and blood glucose monitors. Because many Hmong rely on their spiritual beliefs to get them through illnesses, the hospital’s new Hmong shaman policy, the country’s first, formally recognizes the cultural role of traditional healers… inviting them to perform nine approved ceremonies in the hospital, including “soul calling” and chanting in a soft voice,” (Brown 2009).
Lorraine Daston, “Science Studies and the Histories of Science,” Critical Inquiry, Summer 2009 — Special issue on “The Fate of the Disciplines,” edited by James Chandler and Arnold Davidson.
Mario Biagioli, “Postdisciplinary Liaisons: Science Studies and the Humanities“, Critical Inquiry, Summer 2009
Vincent Duclos, “When Anthropology Meets Science: An Interview with Allan Young“, Altérités 6(1), 2009 : 110-118.
“Without philosophy, particularly without analytical philosophy, there is no anthropology worth talking about and I feel the same way about history and historical inquiry. If we don’t have an anthropology that is read with a historical perspective on absolutely everything, including anthropology, if we don’t have an anthropology that is totally grounded in the debates within analytical philosophy and other branches of philosophy, we’ve got an intellectually impaired, maybe even empty discipline,” (Duclos 2009).
Ilina Singh and Nikolas Rose, “Biomarkers in Psychiatry” Nature Vol 460, 9 July 2009
“Without ongoing social and ethical analysis, as well as careful thought by the researchers about their role in this process, the future use of psychiatric biomarkers could marginalize efforts to identify and address social and environmental factors associated with the development of antisocial and criminal behaviours in young people. It could also reinforce the use of problematic diagnoses and/or medical treatments to manage the current and anticipated behaviour of very young children. Such developments could lead to stigma and labels that affect children’s psychological development, their social and educational opportunities, and their medical care and employment options,” (Singh and Rose 2009).
Vaughan Bell, “Latah and the Rules of Rule Breaking“, Mind Hacks
“Anthropologists…have often loudly scoffed at the psychiatric definition of latah as a syndrome, suggesting it is just a defined social role of the local culture that has its own limits and and ‘rules’,” (Bell 2009).
Alan Saunders, “Michel Foucault’s Madness and Civilization: 50th Anniversary,” a podcast from Philosopher’s Zone, Australian Broadcasting Association

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