In contemporary Western societies, the visual domain has come to assume a thus far unprecedented cultural centrality. Daily life is replete with a potentially endless stream of images and other visual messages: from the electronic and paper-based billboards of the street, to the TV and Internet feeds of the home. The visual has become imbued with a symbolic potency, a signifying power that seemingly eclipses that of all other sensory data. The central aim of this four-volume collection is to explore key approaches to visual research methods and to consider some of the core principles, issues, debates and controversies surrounding the use of visual techniques in relation to three key enterprises: 1) documentation and representation; 2) interpretation and classification and 3) elicitation and collaboration. serves as a theoretical backdrop to the field as a whole. It introduces core epistemological, ethical and methodological debates that effectively cut across the four volume collection as a whole. illustrates approaches to visual documentation and representation, from classical documentaries to contemporary, state of the art modes of visual anthropology and ethnography. examines core debates surrounding and approaches to visual analysis. Finally, explores participative approaches to visual inquiry.
The growing abundance of medical technologies has led to laments over doctors’ sensory de-skilling, technologies viewed as replacing diagnosis based on sensory acumen. The technique of percussion has become emblematic of the kinds of skills considered lost. While disappearing from wards, percussion is still taught in medical schools. By ethnographically following how percussion is taught to and learned by students, this article considers the kinds of bodies configured through this multisensory practice. I suggest that three kinds of bodies arise: skilled bodies; affected bodies; and resonating bodies. As these bodies are crafted, I argue that boundaries between bodies of novices and bodies they learn from blur. Attending to an overlooked dimension of bodily configurations in medicine, self-perception, I show that learning percussion functions not only to perpetuate diagnostic craft skills but also as a way of knowing of, and through, the resource always at hand; one’s own living breathing body.
In 2003 the UK National Blood Service introduced a policy of ‘male donor preference’ which involved women’s plasma being discarded following blood collection. The policy was based on the view that data relating to the incidence of Transfusion-Related Acute Lung Injury (TRALI) was linked to transfusion with women’s plasma. While appearing to treat female donors as equal to male donors, exclusion criteria operate after donation at the stage of processing blood, thus perpetuating myths of universality even though only certain ‘extractions’ from women are retained for use in transfusion. Many women in the UK receive a plasma-derived product called Anti-D immunoglobulin which is manufactured from pooled male plasma. This article examines ways in which gender has significance for understanding blood relations, and how the blood economy is gendered. In our study of relations between blood donors and recipients, we explore how gendered bodies are produced through the discursive and material practices within blood services. We examine both how donation policies and the manufacturing and use of blood products produces gendered blood relations.