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Health, Technology and Society

Resilient Cyborgs

Living and Dying with Pacemakers and Defibrillators

Authors: Oudshoorn, Nelly

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  • Offers the first intensive study of what it means to live and die with pacemakers and defibrillators inside the body
  • Expands the scope of STS scholarship on users and theories of human-technology relations and agency to include technologies inside bodies
  • Offers a cutting edge and unique resource for students and academics (from upper level undergraduates to professional researchers) in the fields of Sociology and Anthropology of Medicine, Science and Technology Studies, and Gender Studies
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eBook 58,84 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-981-15-2529-2
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover 72,79 €
price for Spain (gross)
About this book

This book examines how pacemakers and defibrillators participate in transforming life and death in high-tech societies. In both popular and medical accounts, these internal devices are often portrayed as almost magical technologies. Once implanted in bodies, they do not require any ‘user’ agency. In this unique and timely book, Nelly Oudshoorn argues that any discourse or policy assuming a passive role for people living with these implants silences the fact that keeping cyborg bodies alive involves their active engagement. Pacemakers and defibrillators not only act as potentially life-saving technologies, but simultaneously transform the fragility of bodies by introducing new vulnerabilities. Oudshoorn offers a fascinating examination of what it takes to become a resilient cyborg, and in the process develops a valuable new sociology of creating ‘resilient’ cyborgs.

About the authors

Nelly Oudshoorn is Professor Emerita of Technology Dynamics and Healthcare at the University of Twente, the Netherlands. She is the author of several award winning books on the development and use of new technologies in healthcare.

Reviews

​‘This fine book makes me more resilient, as we all come to live with the “body companion technologies” that Oudshoorn explores with her subtle and generous critical spirit rooted in thick ethnography.  She tells us with rich detail and analytical acumen how specific kinds of implanted body companions reshape our hearts and syncopate our rhythms of living and dying. Oudshoorn’s care for the people she studies infuses the tissues of this book as she helps readers understand both new vulnerabilities and heartening resilience.’ (Donna Haraway, Distinguished Professor Emerita, History of Consciousness Department, University of California at Santa Cruz)
‘“The body electric” is the subject of Oudshoorn’s comprehensive sociology of the implantable cardiac defibrillator, that “body companion technology” placed in thousands of people annually.  From the re-making of self-awareness to the materiality and agency of the wired heart itself, the book shows what it takes to live and die as a hybrid. An important addition to the social studies of biomedicine.’ (Sharon R. Kaufman, Professor Emerita, Medical Anthropology, University of California, San Francisco)

Table of contents (10 chapters)

Table of contents (10 chapters)
  • Rematerializing the Cyborg: Understanding the Agency of People Living with Technologies Inside Their Bodies

    Pages 3-35

    Oudshoorn, Nelly

  • On Vulnerable Bodies, Transformative Technologies, and Resilient Cyborgs

    Pages 37-59

    Oudshoorn, Nelly

  • Creating Material Resilient Cyborgs: Sensing and Tuning Agencies of Pacemakers and Defibrillators

    Pages 63-92

    Oudshoorn, Nelly

  • Passive Victims of Faulty Machines? Anticipating and Taming ICD Shocks

    Pages 93-116

    Oudshoorn, Nelly

  • Wired Heart Cyborgs and the Materiality of Everyday Life

    Pages 117-150

    Oudshoorn, Nelly

Buy this book

eBook 58,84 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-981-15-2529-2
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover 72,79 €
price for Spain (gross)

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Resilient Cyborgs
Book Subtitle
Living and Dying with Pacemakers and Defibrillators
Authors
Series Title
Health, Technology and Society
Copyright
2020
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd.
eBook ISBN
978-981-15-2529-2
DOI
10.1007/978-981-15-2529-2
Hardcover ISBN
978-981-15-2528-5
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XX, 350
Number of Illustrations
10 b/w illustrations
Topics

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