Current Institutional Affiliation
Professor, Institute for Society and Genetics, University of California / Los Angeles

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 1999
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Science, Technology & Society, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Scale and Convention: Programmed Languages in a Regulated America

I propose to do multi-site ethnographic research in Turkey, Israel and India, three strategic nodes in an international telemedicine network. This will be the second phase of a dissertation project, the first phase of which was conducted at three sites in Boston, Massachusetts and in collaboration with researchers at France Telecom in Paris. The ethnographic research will provide data for three intertwined arguments: (1) that information and communication technologies (principally the internet) are transforming the organizational structure of healthcare systems in technically specific and detailed ways; (2) that these changes in healthcare systems are rearranging regional configurations of power and access to healthcare both within national states and transnationally; (3) that these changes in healthcare systems provide a strategic point of access for reassessing debates about the continuing mutations of welfare state politics, for which traditional political labeling is increasingly inadequate; I contend that telemedcine is a new object of study, creating new forms of life, that will help illustrate the thesis that "societies and cultures, from isolated villages to entire world regions, are caught up in processes that link them to events which, though geographically distinct, are culturally, economically, strategically, or ecologically quite near."