The technologies of ICTs in the pursuit of wellbeing
Dori Beeler (University of Notre Dame)
Paper short abstract:
This paper explores governmentality within social networking activities of Reiki practitioners around the world who are focused on things such as the democratising of treatment within Reiki worldviews alongside information pertaining to medical diagnosis and the use of Reiki within those diagnoses.
Paper long abstract:
An emphasis alongside biopolitics, governmentality allows for a critique of the concepts of power with a focus on behaviour while employing various techniques. This paper explores governmentality within social networking activities of Reiki practitioners as an increased access point for information. Linked In, a networking site for professionals, allows for the formation of Groups based on niche professions. One Group is dedicated to Reiki Professionals; Reiki is a hands-on-healing method that affects one's bodily energy in the pursuit of wellbeing. Within this Group can be found opportunities for discussions amongst practitioners who are focused on things such as the democratising of treatment within Reiki worldviews alongside information pertaining to the use of Reiki alongside medical diagnosis. With respect to governmentality, two of the four technologies are linked; this paper employs Technologies of Production and Technologies of Signs to discuss how Reiki practitioners engage in Linked In, categorized as a form of ICT. This use of a social network carries forward Bryan Pfaffenberger's argument against a 'Standard View' whereas human technological activity makes up a 'sociotechnical system.' Technologies of production is characterized as operations that allow for the production, transformation, or manipulation of things, in this case the manipulation of ICTs, whereas Technologies of Sign Systems allow the use of signs, meanings, symbols, or signification, in this case Reiki worldviews alongside biomedicine. This social activity will demonstrate forms of knowledge and attitudes within a democratization of healing worldviews and how Reiki engages with medical diagnoses as they pertain to wellbeing.
ICTs, biopolitics and health: making and unmaking bodies and persons in a world of globalised telecommunications