Journal of Medical Humanities

, Volume 34, Issue 2, pp 245–247 | Cite as

The Surgical Suite

  • Eric Plemons


In this short essay I focus on two ethnographic scenes from the operating room in order to show the OR as a place both assiduously sterile and deeply intimate. In the process of these Facial Feminization Surgery procedures, surgeons and other OR staff reflect on the social changes that the surgery may (or may not) enable even while they are working to enact physical changes in the faces of their patients.


Surgery Transgender studies Anthropology of medicine 


  1. Goffman, Erving. 1961. Encounters: two studies in the sociology of interaction. Indianapolis, IN: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc.Google Scholar
  2. Hirschauer, Stefan. 1991. “The Manufacture of Bodies in Surgery.” Social Studies of Science 21:279–319.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Katz, Pearl. 1981. “Ritual in the Operating Room.” Ethnology 20(4): 335–350.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Young, Katharine. 1997. Presence in the Flesh: The Body in Medicine. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

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