Ditte Andersen’s article, just published on Early View, explores the role of clients and professionals in achieving change through drug treatment.
Professionals who provide drug treatment to young people seek to approach clients as agents of change, i.e., highlight clients’ agency and ownership of treatment plans. On the basis of ethnographic data from two treatment institutions in Denmark, this article investigates how everyday interaction organizes clients’ experiences in ways that alternately support and contradict this professional ambition. Notably, findings indicate that talk and material arrangements “backstage” make professionals, not clients, appear as the real agents of change. Clients are increasingly encouraged to participate in meetings “backstage,” where treatment is organized, but, contrary to intentions, clients may experience participation as debasing rather than empowering.
Ozge Merzali Celikoglu’s article “Fragments of Modernization” that was just published on Early View examines recent changes in Turkish domestic spaces and in particular the increasing featuring of lace that can be found in both ‘traditional’ and ‘modern’ domestic settings. By drawing on Latour’s Actor-Network-Theory (ANT) and using , interviews and ethnography the article examines the different meanings and forms of use of lace in various homes.
A recent article in the New York times written by Gary Marcus discusses current difficulties, challenges and debates about brain simulations, brain images and their use and usefulness for understanding with schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s. He also highlights that there now is a wide range of popular science books that make claims about the opportunities brain imaging technology offer for example to market researchers. At the centre of his article is the emphasis on the lack of a theory of the brain that would or could allow neuroscientists, biologists and others who gather data related to brain activity to arrive at valid conclusions. Hence, claims made in these popular science books and also at market research conferences should be taken with a pinch of salt. Recent book reviews in Symbolic Interaction address these debates. For example,
in the most recent issue of the journal (Vol.37, 2(May)) Patrick Watson reviews Moran Alač “Handling Digital Brains” a book devoted to the practice involved in analysing fMRI scans, and Andrew S. Balmer reviews Martyn Pickersgill und Ira van Keulen’s “Sociological Reflections on the Neurosciences“.
Links to the Book Reviews
Patrick Watson. 2013. Handling Digital Brains: A Laboratory Study of Multimodal Semiotic Interaction in the Age of Computers. Symbolic Interaction. Vol.37(2): 312-314.
Andrew S. Balmer. 2013. This is your Brain on Neuroscience. Symbolic Interaction. Vol.37(2): 309-311.
Relationships between the sexes on campus is topic that has been at the center of public debate for decades and probably will be for the time to come. Over the past year or so, the New York Times run a number of articles concerned with “The Dating World of Tomorrow“, “The End of Courtship?“, conversations about sex on campus, and many others. A common theme of these and related debates is the role of masculinity in college and the assumption that in college fraternities male students may sexually stigmatise their female colleagues. Brian N. Sweeny’s article that has just been published on Early View of Symbolic Interaction is based on a study that explores the role of masculinity and peer relationships in fraternity members’ attitude toward female students.
The abstract and article can be found here.
Visual images have been of growing importance in Western Public Health. David Serlin’s edited collection “Imagining Illness. Public Health and Visual Culture” (Minnesota University Press 2010) compiles original chapters by an international authorship who explore public health features in and is influenced by visual culture. Alexander Stingl’s review of the book “Almost Great” that has just been published on Early View of Symbolic Interaction critically evaluates the contribution of the volume and the way in which it discusses, or fails to discuss, the relationship between “visual culture” and “public health culture”.