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Accepted Paper:

Non-innocent norms: Normativity within activist, research and theoretical conceptualisations of care within the primate laboratory  
Eva Haifa Giraud (The University of Sheffield)

Paper short abstract:

This paper explores how care’s ‘darker’ side is articulated within research, activist and media narratives about primate research, elucidating how normative, politically inhibitive, understandings of care persist within both formal ethical frameworks and critical STS analyses of these frameworks.

Paper long abstract:

This paper asks whether recent theoretical understandings of care within the animal laboratory can themselves have a normative dimension. The paper examines this question by contrasting different understandings of care articulated during controversies surrounding the use of macaque monkeys in deep brain stimulation research in the UK (2003-2008). These controversies are then read against recent STS research that has called for more affective, responsive modes of care within laboratory work (e.g. Haraway, 2008; Despret, 2013). During these controversies appeals to care were made across activist, research and media narratives, with many of these appeals grounded in pre-existing ethical values (such as 'rights') or normative regulatory frameworks, both of which have been criticised within feminist science studies for failing to be responsive to individual animals and specific contexts. Appeals to somatic modes of care (as advocated by recent theoretical literature), however, were also made by different interlocutors, but even these were used to legitimate pre-existing conceptions of human-animal relations, rather than open up new questions or prompt new forms of responsibility. The paper illustrates, therefore, how both normative regulatory frameworks and more affective accounts of care can be leveraged for instrumental purposes. The paper thus contributes to recent explorations of the importance of care within science studies (e.g. Puig de la Bellacasa, 2011), by conceptualising some of its 'darker' (Martin et al., 2015), more 'violent' (Van Dooren, 2014) and instrumental (Giraud and Hollin, 2016) dimensions.

Panel T049
STS and normativity: analyzing and enacting values
  Session 1 Friday 2 September, 2016, -