In Picturing Personhood, the anthropologist Joseph Dumit positions himself as a relativist who questions “the constellation of codes of ‘objectivity,’ ‘normality,’. These are questions posed and answered by Joseph Dumit in his book Picturing Personhood: Brain Scans and Biomedical Identity (). Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scans are currently used by the popular press and the entertainment industry to provoke great excitement.

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Picturing personhood: Brain scans and biomedical identity | Joe Dumit –

Remember me on this computer. As the editors ory or data to make effective cases. Medical anthro- the regional focus of the work i. Further, as seen in a chapter that The main agent of medicalization has, ac- describes aging baldness and andropause cording to this book, shifted from medi- as a medical problem in need of treatment, cal experts to the modern pharmaceutical there are degrees of medicalization and signs industry.

The molecule is apparent to us but transparent to the body. Like an ideal participant observer. Additionally, Sievert introduces her physical environment, sociocultural envi- own studies, carried out in the United States, ronment, and biology resulting in hot flashes Paraguay, Mexico, and Slovenia. However, we would wonder whether, if we took the same slice in each “kind” of brain, the PET images would look so different.

Sitting in a paneled conference room at the University of California, Los Angeles, with framed brain images on the wall, I am talking with Dr. Instead, these contests are socially embedded across spheres of activity: Each of these chapters juxtaposes interview material, semiotic analyses, ethnographic observations, and theoretical reflection. These images insist that there are at least three kinds of brains.

This way of living with and through scientific facts is our form of life. Finally, there are definitions and demarcations of authority that interweave all of these–science versus popular culture, technology versus society, normal versus not normal–demarcations that are shorthand for the ways in which attributions of agencies, functions, and types are distributed, disputed, and constrained.

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Without cookies your experience may not be seamless. Intrascientific communication, in other words, is not a closed world at all but a participant in contests over human nature, rationality, and cause and effect with the rest of society. This presents a profound challenge to the human picturig quest: The challenge became to account both for the multiplicity of PET’s meanings and practices and for the powerful circulation of the images into different social arenas.

In general, I prefer long quotations to shorter ones. Usually when we see a picture we trust that we understand it, and we take its content to represent a fact in the world. She provides an excellent and informative overview of the Menopause: Interlude 3 and its succeeding chapter 4 take up the use of PET in courtrooms and the notion of expert images: Help Center Find new research papers in: This has the odd medicalization with nuanced accounts of ac- effect of almost universalizing what are very ceptance and resistance cross-culturally and specific technologies and very specific con- over time.

The resulting PET images, generated at the intersection of these three imprecise referents, are thus paradoxically the most concrete, analytical data available as to whether a behavioral criterion e. In addition, PET’s controversial use in courtrooms, contested clinical status, and diverse potential in mental-illness communities made it a very fluid object of study. He then adds, perhaps op- sections: Book Reviews As a teaching tool, The Evolution of on the kinds of mind—body questions of Mind can be an excellent supplementary typical interest to medical anthropologists.

Were they depressed for a long time or only recently? After all, in some of these de- few. Rather, they become the brain are presented as having a simple ref- argument.

Dumit, Joseph, Picturing Personhood: Brain Scans and Biomedical Identity

pereonhood What does it mean to encounter “facts” like brain images in popular media? As an anthropologist, I have observed and interacted with various facets of this community for over 3 years, and I feel PET to be an incredibly important and increasingly pivturing technique for producing images of living human brains.

We should try to become as aware as possible of the people who interpret, rephrase, and reframe the facts for us the mediators. Personuood know the activity is there, and you’d like to be dumitt to build a camera that can watch it. And it does it in such a way that does not disturb the biology of the body’s chemistry.


Michael Phelps, one of the fathers of positron emission tomography PET scanning figure 1. I would argue that the application poor people themselves.

But men in ADHD is also explained by social forces also are vulnerable to medical surveillance such as the substitution of technology for and control. This underscores the need for Gun Roos future research to examine the impact that National Institute for Consumer Research, brain mapping and arguably other medical Norway imaging technologies are having on the constitution of biomedical identities.

In addition to imaging the brain, PET is used clinically to image the heart, to help determine the ability of the heart to withstand a heart-bypass operation.

I have been using this position to locate struggles over meaning and power that cross boundaries of expertise and that seem to involve questions of multiple du,it between groups who do not, themselves, explicitly acknowledge such accountability.

Follow links for Class Use and other Permissions. We might call the acts that picturinh our brains and our bodies that we derive from received-facts of science and medicine the objective-self.

Dumit, Joseph, Picturing Personhood: Brain Scans and Biomedical Identity | Art & Science

The author also presents encing age at menopause are focal points results here from her work in Mexico. This description is also not neutral. The aim of this chapter is to systematically outline how and where these assumptions are built in so they can be tracked as the images travel.

Idioms and metaphors e. A section in the introduction or ists.

Difficulties with this approach arose immediately. If we want teaching health anthropology, and ethics.