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Title page for ETD etd-11282012-143550

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Morrison, Daniel Ray
Author's Email Address daniel.ray.morrison@gmail.com
URN etd-11282012-143550
Title Body, Self, Device: Nonhuman Objects and Human Identity
Degree PhD
Department Sociology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Laura M. Carpenter Committee Chair
David J. Hesss Committee Member
Mark J. Bliton Committee Member
Michael D. Bess Committee Member
Steven J. Tepper Committee Member
  • self
  • brain
  • society
  • symbolic interaction
  • medical sociology
  • body
  • embodiment
  • medical technology
  • science and technology
Date of Defense 2012-11-14
Availability unrestricted
In this dissertation, I examine the social world of deep brain stimulation and its use in the treatment of people with movement disorders, including Parkinson's Disease, Essential Tremor, and Dystonia. Through ethnography, in-depth interviews, and document analysis, I track the biomedical, social, and interactive processes that lead patients to seek and accept deep brain stimulation treatment. I then follow patients as they learn to live with their devices, and track the way these devices impact relations with self and other. I also compare the use of this technology to cardiac pacemaker devices. I found that many patients integrate their device into self, making the technology transparent, mundane, and unremarkable.

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