What is this nebulous sounding compound
concept, “medico-legal borderlands”? How has it been used by social scientists whose
ethnographic studies scratch at itches in the intersecting areas of human health
and illness and the organization and production of health care systems?
collection of four essays curated for this Somatosphere
series, we invite readers to join us …
Des Fitzgerald writes of his book, Tracing Autism, “This is a book about scientists talking about their own practice, in tones that are beset by ambiguity, uncertainty, complexity, and even some anxiety” (9). This is true, and after reading the book one might find the description a little understated. By now the idea that neuroscience, any science, is …
Exposed Science: Genes, the Environment, and the Politics of Population Health
by Sara Shostak
University of California Press, 2013, 312 pages
“Genetics loads the gun, but the environment pulls the trigger.” This turn of phrase, from Sara Shostak’s book Exposed Science: Genes, the Environment, and the Politics of Population Health, suggests that human variability and heredity is the …
Putting a Name to It: Diagnosis in Contemporary Society
by Annemarie Jutel
Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011. 175 pages.
When we treat diagnosis as simply a medical issue, we mask the tremendous social power involved in putting a name to human suffering. When we transform phenomenological experiences into discrete labels and then treat those labels as reality, we cram …
Det sociala livets elementära former [The Elementary Forms of Social Life]
by Johan Asplund
Bokförlaget Korpen, 1987/2000, 268 pages.
Johan Asplund, whose work has been rather underrepresented in the international academic arena, is frequently seen as the “father” of contemporary Swedish social psychology. Remarkably productive, Asplund gained popularity in the 1970–1980s, and his books are still widely used in …
If there really has been a ‘collaborative turn’ between the social and biological sciences, then the stakes of that turn are still very much to be negotiated. ‘Collaboration,’ of course, is not a practice or a structure simply to be aimed for: like all ethical and methodological commitments, collaboration is made in the turning – and thus the actual forms …