Affective practices, care and bioscience: a study of two laboratories

Kerr, A. and Garforth, L. (2016) Affective practices, care and bioscience: a study of two laboratories. Sociological Review, 64(1), pp. 3-20. (doi: 10.1111/1467-954X.12310)

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Scientific knowledge-making is not just a matter of experiments, modelling and fieldwork. It also involves affective, embodied and material practices (Wetherell, 2012) which can be understood together as ‘matters of care’ (Puig de la Bellacasa, 2011). In this paper we explore how affect spans and connects material, subjective and organizational practices, focusing in particular on the patterns of care we encountered in an observational study of two bioscience laboratories. We explore the preferred emotional subjectivities of each lab and their relation to material practice. We go on to consider flows and clots in the circulation of affect and their relation to care through an exploration of belonging and humour in the labs. We show how being a successful scientist or group of researchers involves a careful choreography of affect in relation to materials, colleagues and others to produce scientific results, subjects and workplaces. We end by considering how thinking with care troubles dominant constructions of scientific practice, successful scientific selves and collectives.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:The empirical research that informs this paper was conducted as part of the project KNOWING (Knowledge, Institutions and Gender: An East-West Comparative Study) conducted in 2005–2008 and funded under the European Commission’s 6th Framework Programme, Specific Targeted Research Project No SASCT-2005-017617.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Kerr, Professor Anne
Authors: Kerr, A., and Garforth, L.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Sociology Anthropology and Applied Social Sciences
Journal Name:Sociological Review
Publisher:SAGE Publications
ISSN (Online):1467-954X
Published Online:01 February 2016

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