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Moving terrains in care and biomedicine: affective modes and vulnerable positions (MAE)
Rikke Sand Andersen (University of Southern Denmark)
Bernhard Hadolt (University of Vienna)
Thursday 23 July, 8:30-10:30, 11:00-13:00 (UTC+1)

Short abstract:

This panel invites participants to discuss ongoing transformations in care practices and the moving terrains of what is considered of relevance to (bio)medicine. We invite papers that take us on ethnographic journeys through specific historical or local moments documenting these transformations.

Long abstract:

Over the last three decades, new mobilities and reconfigurations of health systems have affected the domains of care and biomedicine in profound ways. An intensification of global interconnectedness, which has conditioned new socialites and biotechnological entanglements across national and regional borders, calls for scholarly attention to shifting notions of what constitutes biomedicine and care. The significant structural reconfigurations in healthcare systems worldwide, which have been fostered by new diagnostic, therapeutic and prognostic developments, often have a massive impact related to neoliberal reform processes and globalizing funding arrangements. Conceptually, we have witnessed a proliferation in attention to care work and how the domain of biomedicine is made and re-made. In the Global North as well as in the Global South diagnostic technologies make possible for an increasing overlap between 'the home' and 'the clinic', and the implications of health care reforms (often in the form of austerity politics) have impacted the distribution of care resources. This has consequences for those in need of care as well as for those providing care. A growing body of literature explores the intersections of technologies, healthcare infrastructures and care practices. This panel invites papers which explore these ongoing changes and asks how medical anthropologists have responded to the complex ethical and political challenges implied by these "moving terrains". It also highlights the position of vulnerable groups and the affective dimensions of care in theses transformations.