Accepted Paper:

Making bodies and identities in everyday clinical work: caring practices as apparatuses of bodily production  

Author:

Karolina Kazimierczak (University of Aberdeen)

Paper short abstract:

Engaging with the work of Donna Haraway and Karen Barad, this paper explores the everyday caring practices in the clinic, the ways in which they help materialize specific objects/bodies and their attributes/identities, and the consequences of these materializations for drawing (bodily) boundaries.

Paper long abstract:

This paper is concerned with the everyday caring practices in the clinic, the ways in which they help enact and materialize specific objects/bodies and their attributes/identities, and with the consequences of these materializations for the drawing of (bodily) boundaries.

Drawing on ethnographic data, the paper focuses on a single instance of clinical encounter in the prostate cancer clinic - the discussion of management options for localized prostate cancer - in order to trace the multiple entanglements of clinical practices and apparatuses, which contribute to the differential becoming of cancer and cancer care, and of cancer patients and specialists.

What constitutes prostate cancer? How is it determined and classified? How are these classifications implicated in shaping and reshaping of clinical relations: between patients and professionals, between diseases and the bodies they affect, and between diseases and the means for their management? What specific practices and apparatuses are involved in the materialisation of the differences and boundaries within these relations? And what are the world-making consequences of these inclusions/exclusions? What "marks are left on bodies" (Barad 2003: 828) as their result?

While grappling with these questions, the paper engages with the work of Donna Haraway and Karen Barad, and particularly with their concept of the apparatus of bodily production as a material-discursive practice, which differentially enacts and materializes specific subjects, objects, meanings and boundaries. It argues that this concept is particularly productive for our understanding of everyday (clinical) practices as materially consequential: making "particular material articulations of the world … meaningful" (Barad 2007: 333).

Panel T059
Making Worlds: Feminist STS and everyday technoscience