Lectures

The Social Potential of Continuing to Wear Masks

This article is part of the series:

We are often told that anti-epidemic masks should not be politicised. Though often well intentioned, this admonition falls short of taking masks seriously as social and historical objects. For, in assuming these to be inherently neutral prophylactic devices whose politicisation is simply an epiphenomenon, this narrative fails to understand and acknowledge that the historical institution of anti-epidemic masks has been …

Lectures

The new trial communities: challenges and opportunities in preconception cohorts

The Excavating the Biosocial series has so far focused on birth cohorts as ethnographic object (Gibbon and Pentecost 2020). In this post, I explore the expansion of interest in the early life period, particularly for Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) research, to include ‘the preconception period.’ Recently, interest in this period has produced new kinds of trial communities …

Lectures

Stepping into the hospital side room: a place for death in England

I hovered in the doorway as the palliative care nurse who I was shadowing that day indicated I should. She entered the darkened side room to check on a male patient. I could barely make out his shape on the bed; it looked like he was slightly propped up and in a pale green hospital gown. Besides him in the …

Lectures

One click away: learning to live with type 1 diabetes via Facebook

This article is part of the series:

Karen, who has lived with type 1 diabetes for three years, explains how she is only just starting to properly manage her daily self-care, and how it interrupts her various daily routines. “There are so many unpredictable issues surrounding self-management, and learning never stops”, she says, while she accentuates all her doubts about self-care: “What will happen,

Lectures

Social Life of Chronic Living

This article is part of the series:

Chronicity, ageing, and social life

Old-age related health conditions evolve into both a dynamic and an inert chronicity which, in the end, produces a particular quality of life when growing old: the chronification of uncertainty, insecurity, and unpredictability (Manderson, Cartwright & Hardon 2016; Eeuwijk 2020). The fragility and volatility of individual biologies cascades older persons not only into new bodily …

Lectures

Handling Contested Truths in Times of Crises: Ghana’s COVID-19 Experience

This article is part of the series:

As the pandemic ravages the rest of the world, the casualty rate in Africa remains a mystery to those who predicted doom for the continent. Given African countries’ past experiences with infectious diseases, public health officials at the United Nations, aid agencies, media, and some experts predicted that the continent would be the most vulnerable and susceptible …