Fabricated data bodies: Reflections on 3D printed digital body objects in medical and health domains

Deborah Lupton

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    10 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The advent of 3D printing technologies has generated new ways of representing and conceptualising health and illness, medical practice and the body. There are many social, cultural and political implications of 3D printing, but a critical sociology of 3D printing is only beginning to emerge. In this article I seek to contribute to this nascent literature by addressing some of the ways in which 3D printing technologies are being used to convert digital data collected on human bodies and fabricate them into tangible forms that can be touched and held. I focus in particular on the use of 3D printing to manufacture non-organic replicas of individuals' bodies, body parts or bodily functions and activities. The article is also a reflection on a specific set of digital data practices and the meaning of such data to individuals. In analysing these new forms of human bodies, I draw on sociomaterialist perspectives as well as the recent work of scholars who have sought to theorise selfhood, embodiment, place and space in digital society and the nature of people's interactions with digital data. I argue that these objects incite intriguing ways of thinking about the ways in digital data on embodiment, health and illnesses are interpreted and used across a range of contexts. The article ends with some speculations about where these technologies may be headed and outlining future research directions.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)99-115
    Number of pages17
    JournalSocial Theory and Health
    Volume13
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

    Fingerprint

    printing technology
    Human Body
    Health
    health
    Technology
    illness
    Sociology
    medical practice
    speculation
    sociology
    Three Dimensional Printing
    interaction

    Cite this

    @article{e45b3751670a471f97ca2c51a71abe49,
    title = "Fabricated data bodies: Reflections on 3D printed digital body objects in medical and health domains",
    abstract = "The advent of 3D printing technologies has generated new ways of representing and conceptualising health and illness, medical practice and the body. There are many social, cultural and political implications of 3D printing, but a critical sociology of 3D printing is only beginning to emerge. In this article I seek to contribute to this nascent literature by addressing some of the ways in which 3D printing technologies are being used to convert digital data collected on human bodies and fabricate them into tangible forms that can be touched and held. I focus in particular on the use of 3D printing to manufacture non-organic replicas of individuals' bodies, body parts or bodily functions and activities. The article is also a reflection on a specific set of digital data practices and the meaning of such data to individuals. In analysing these new forms of human bodies, I draw on sociomaterialist perspectives as well as the recent work of scholars who have sought to theorise selfhood, embodiment, place and space in digital society and the nature of people's interactions with digital data. I argue that these objects incite intriguing ways of thinking about the ways in digital data on embodiment, health and illnesses are interpreted and used across a range of contexts. The article ends with some speculations about where these technologies may be headed and outlining future research directions.",
    keywords = "digital health, 3D printing, sociology",
    author = "Deborah Lupton",
    year = "2015",
    doi = "10.1057/sth.2015.3",
    language = "English",
    volume = "13",
    pages = "99--115",
    journal = "Social Theory and Health",
    issn = "1477-8211",
    publisher = "Palgrave Macmillan",
    number = "2",

    }

    Fabricated data bodies: Reflections on 3D printed digital body objects in medical and health domains. / Lupton, Deborah.

    In: Social Theory and Health, Vol. 13, No. 2, 2015, p. 99-115.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Fabricated data bodies: Reflections on 3D printed digital body objects in medical and health domains

    AU - Lupton, Deborah

    PY - 2015

    Y1 - 2015

    N2 - The advent of 3D printing technologies has generated new ways of representing and conceptualising health and illness, medical practice and the body. There are many social, cultural and political implications of 3D printing, but a critical sociology of 3D printing is only beginning to emerge. In this article I seek to contribute to this nascent literature by addressing some of the ways in which 3D printing technologies are being used to convert digital data collected on human bodies and fabricate them into tangible forms that can be touched and held. I focus in particular on the use of 3D printing to manufacture non-organic replicas of individuals' bodies, body parts or bodily functions and activities. The article is also a reflection on a specific set of digital data practices and the meaning of such data to individuals. In analysing these new forms of human bodies, I draw on sociomaterialist perspectives as well as the recent work of scholars who have sought to theorise selfhood, embodiment, place and space in digital society and the nature of people's interactions with digital data. I argue that these objects incite intriguing ways of thinking about the ways in digital data on embodiment, health and illnesses are interpreted and used across a range of contexts. The article ends with some speculations about where these technologies may be headed and outlining future research directions.

    AB - The advent of 3D printing technologies has generated new ways of representing and conceptualising health and illness, medical practice and the body. There are many social, cultural and political implications of 3D printing, but a critical sociology of 3D printing is only beginning to emerge. In this article I seek to contribute to this nascent literature by addressing some of the ways in which 3D printing technologies are being used to convert digital data collected on human bodies and fabricate them into tangible forms that can be touched and held. I focus in particular on the use of 3D printing to manufacture non-organic replicas of individuals' bodies, body parts or bodily functions and activities. The article is also a reflection on a specific set of digital data practices and the meaning of such data to individuals. In analysing these new forms of human bodies, I draw on sociomaterialist perspectives as well as the recent work of scholars who have sought to theorise selfhood, embodiment, place and space in digital society and the nature of people's interactions with digital data. I argue that these objects incite intriguing ways of thinking about the ways in digital data on embodiment, health and illnesses are interpreted and used across a range of contexts. The article ends with some speculations about where these technologies may be headed and outlining future research directions.

    KW - digital health

    KW - 3D printing

    KW - sociology

    U2 - 10.1057/sth.2015.3

    DO - 10.1057/sth.2015.3

    M3 - Article

    VL - 13

    SP - 99

    EP - 115

    JO - Social Theory and Health

    JF - Social Theory and Health

    SN - 1477-8211

    IS - 2

    ER -