Biomedicine as Culture: Instrumental Practices, Technoscientific Knowledge, and New Modes of Life, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Biomedicine as Culture

Instrumental Practices, Technoscientific Knowledge, and New Modes of Life, 1st Edition

Edited by Regula Valérie Burri, Joseph Dumit


260 pages

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This volume offers interdisciplinary perspectives on contemporary biomedicine as a cultural practice. It brings together leading scholars from cultural anthropology, sociology, history, and science studies to conduct a critical dialogue on the culture(s) of biomedical practice, discussing its epistemic, material, and social implications. The essays look at the ways new biomedical knowledge is constructed within hospitals and academic settings and at how this knowledge changes perceptions, material arrangements, and social relations, not only within clinics and scientific communities, but especially once it is diffused into a broader cultural context.

Table of Contents

Foreword. Introduction Regula Valérie Burri and Joseph Dumit I. Social and Cultural Studies of Biomedicine 1. Medicalizing Culture(s) or Culturalizing Medicine(s) Stefan Beck 2. Metaphors of Medicine and the Culture of Healing: Historical Perspectives Jakob Tanner 3. Medicine as Practice and Culture: The Analysis of Border Regimes and the Necessity of a Hermeneutics of Physical Bodies Gesa Lindemann II. Epistemic Practices and Material Culture(s) 4. The Future Is Now: Locating Biomarkers for Dementia Margaret Lock 5. Embodied Action, Enacted Bodies: The Example of Hypoglycaemia Annemarie Mol and John Law 6. Sociotechnical Anatomy Regula Valérie Burri 7. Risk and Safety in the Operating Theater: An Ethnographic Study of Socio-technical Practices Cornelius Schubert III. Biomedical Knowledge in Context 8. Genomic Susceptibility as an Emergent Form of Life? Genetic Testing, Identity, and the Remit of Medicine Nikolas Rose 9. Susceptible Individuals and Risky Rights: Dimensions of Genetic Responsibility Thomas Lemke 10. "Pop Genes": An Investigation of "the Gene" in Popular Parlance Barbara Duden and Silja Samerski 11. Genetics and Its Publics: Crafting Genetic Literacy and Identity in the Early Twenty-first Century Karen-Sue Taussig 12. Constructing the Digital Patient: Patient Organizations and the Development of Health Web Sites Nelly Oudshoorn. Epilogue: Indeterminate Lives, Demands, Relations: Emergent Bioscapes Joseph Dumit and Regula Valérie Burri

About the Editors

Regula Valérie Burri is an affiliated research fellow at Collegium Helveticum, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) and University of Zurich. Her doctoral thesis, "Doing Images: Zur Praxis medizinischer Bilder" (forthcoming), explores the social and cultural implications of medical imaging. She has been a Swiss National Science Foundation research fellow and holds appointments with several Swiss universities. Her research interests focus on the relationship between science, technology, and society. She is the coauthor of "Social Studies of Scientific Images and Visualization," in Ed Hackett et al., The Handbook of Science and Technology Studies (with Joseph Dumit; MIT Press).

Joseph Dumit is an associate professor in the Department of Anthropology and the director of the program in Science and Technology Studies at University of California, Davis. His research interests are the anthropology of science, technology, and medicine; medical anthropology; and social studies. He is the author of Picturing Personhood: Brain Scans and Biomedical Identity (Princeton University Press, 2004); and the coeditor of Cyborgs & Citadels: Anthropological Interventions in Emerging Sciences and Technologies (with Gary L. Downey; SAR Press, 1997), and Cyborg Babies: From Techno-Sex to Techno-Tots (with Robbie Davis-Floyd; Routledge, 1998). Dumit is the associate editor of the journal Culture, Medicine & Psychiatry.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Science, Technology and Society

Books in this series consider social science aspects of science studies. Authors discuss how science is socially situated and mediated, how science and technology are shaped by society and society by science and technology. Books will consider the social impact of new technologies.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MEDICAL / Ethics
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General