In/Visible Personal Medical Devices: The Insulin Pump as a Visual and Material Mediator Between Selves and Others
Donna Haraway’s theoretical framework serves as a point of departure for this chapter, which argues that real-life cyborgs may complicate boundaries between the human self and technological other while also maintaining or creating these distinctions through everyday action. Drawing on ethnographic accounts of three women with type 1 diabetes, this chapter sheds light on the complex in/visibilities of the insulin pump as an enigmatic object that is at once seen and felt while simultaneously unseen and unfelt, and which is experienced as augmenting flexibility in travel, exercise and diet while limiting flexibility and well-being in other ways. These findings reveal how the pump, whose in/visibility can be manipulated through various strategies, acts as a visual and material mediator in relationships between multiple selves and others.
All interview material used in this chapter was gained with informed consent and is used with permission.
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