Embodying, calibrating and caring for a local model of obesity: An ethnographic analysis of interdisciplinarity in practice

Publikation: KonferencebidragKonferenceabstrakt til konferenceForskningfagfællebedømt

Interdisciplinary research collaborations are increasingly made a mandatory 'standard' within strategic research grants. Collaborations between the natural, social and humanistic sciences are conceptualized as uniquely suited to study pressing societal problems. The obesity epidemic has been highlighted as such a problem.

Within research communities disparate explanatory models of obesity exist (Ulijaszek 2008) and some of these models of obesity are brought together in the Copenhagen-based interdisciplinary research initiative; Governing Obesity (GO) with the aim of addressing the causes, mechanisms and the possible solutions of obesity.

Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork conducted within two interdisciplinary research groups performing interventions on obesity, we ask: how is obesity configured as a phenomenon amenable to scientific intervention within research communities and through collaborative practices? Moreover underlining what we find to be the frailty and intimacy of managing interventions we ask what practices shape and sustain the intervention course?

These interdisciplinary engagements and the following entanglements of scientific models, standards, practices, everyday lives and technologies herein lead to the emergence of what we propose to be local models of obesity. Describing the emergence of local models of obesity we show how a specific model is being cared for, calibrated and embodied by research staff as well as research subjects and how interdisciplinary obesity research is an ongoing process of configuring but also extending beyond already established models of obesity.

We argue that an articulation of such practices of local care, embodiment and calibration are crucial for the appreciation, evaluation and transferability of interdisciplinary obesity research.
StatusUdgivet - 2014
BegivenhedEASST 2014: Situating Solidarities: social challenges for science and technology studies - Nicolaus Copernicus University, Torun, Polen
Varighed: 17 sep. 201419 sep. 2014


KonferenceEASST 2014: Situating Solidarities: social challenges for science and technology studies
LokationNicolaus Copernicus University

ID: 124168124