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Mapping the Body across Diverse Information Systems: Shadow Bodies and They Make Us Human

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Abstract:

In this talk, I introduce the term “shadow bodies” (Star & Balka, 2009), a concept Leigh Star and I were working on at the time of her death. Using ski area injuries as a starting point, I demonstrate how shadow bodies are created as notions of health and illness are negotiated across multiple jurisdictions (such as the ski patrol, ambulance service, local clinic), information needs (e.g., those of a provincial safety officer, who receives information if an injury involves a ski lift) and information systems, with each jurisdictional boundary demarking a differing view of the body – “shadow bodies” (Star & Balka, 2009). I then take up Leigh’s broader line of inquiry to demonstrate how these infrastructure shadows permeate our bodies in action, interaction, and history, where these shadows take the form of absences and presences encoded by all types of information technology - which are not, themselves, yet considered institutionally. As the body of shadows accumulate (in the form of blogs, electronic traces of many sorts, the aggregation of information about individuals), little in the way of moral or sentimental order guides their proliferation, with documents and traces following, in ever-thickening ways, nearly every domain of life (e.g., book-buying, health, where one lives, how standard one may be or not be). I end by suggesting that as an aggregate social form, these shadows of the self are under-theorized, and, in the spirit of Leigh’s inquiry, that we now turn our focus to consideration of the about the existential and political ways of life engendered by the volume and entanglement of multiple infrastructures.
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Association:
Name: 4S Annual Meeting - Abstract and Session Submissions
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http://www.4sonline.org


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p524252_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Balka, Ellen. and Star, Susan. "Mapping the Body across Diverse Information Systems: Shadow Bodies and They Make Us Human" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 4S Annual Meeting - Abstract and Session Submissions, Crowne Plaza Cleveland City Center Hotel, Cleveland, OH, <Not Available>. 2014-11-25 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p524252_index.html>

APA Citation:

Balka, E. and Star, S. L. "Mapping the Body across Diverse Information Systems: Shadow Bodies and They Make Us Human" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 4S Annual Meeting - Abstract and Session Submissions, Crowne Plaza Cleveland City Center Hotel, Cleveland, OH <Not Available>. 2014-11-25 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p524252_index.html

Publication Type: Abstract
Abstract: In this talk, I introduce the term “shadow bodies” (Star & Balka, 2009), a concept Leigh Star and I were working on at the time of her death. Using ski area injuries as a starting point, I demonstrate how shadow bodies are created as notions of health and illness are negotiated across multiple jurisdictions (such as the ski patrol, ambulance service, local clinic), information needs (e.g., those of a provincial safety officer, who receives information if an injury involves a ski lift) and information systems, with each jurisdictional boundary demarking a differing view of the body – “shadow bodies” (Star & Balka, 2009). I then take up Leigh’s broader line of inquiry to demonstrate how these infrastructure shadows permeate our bodies in action, interaction, and history, where these shadows take the form of absences and presences encoded by all types of information technology - which are not, themselves, yet considered institutionally. As the body of shadows accumulate (in the form of blogs, electronic traces of many sorts, the aggregation of information about individuals), little in the way of moral or sentimental order guides their proliferation, with documents and traces following, in ever-thickening ways, nearly every domain of life (e.g., book-buying, health, where one lives, how standard one may be or not be). I end by suggesting that as an aggregate social form, these shadows of the self are under-theorized, and, in the spirit of Leigh’s inquiry, that we now turn our focus to consideration of the about the existential and political ways of life engendered by the volume and entanglement of multiple infrastructures.


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The development of infants’ use of body information when forming categorical representations of humans and non-human animals.

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