This visual narrative explores the social consequences of the U.S. medical system’s business incentive to utilize the body as capital gain. The video utilizes visual ethnography, critical theory, applied ethnography and reflexive narrative to demonstrate the U. S. mainstream medical community’s objectification of “bodies” as resource and disregard of individual preference through “medical gaze”.
Michel Foucault concepts of “body” and “medical gaze” are utilized in this video to highlight that by entering the field of knowledge, the human body concurrently entered the field of power, becoming a target for manipulation. In this instance, visual/critical ethnography is utilized to motivate “consumers” to exercise self-determination in the management of their healthcare. Shared knowledge surrounding the body in healthcare means shared power, particularly surrounding the amount/quality of life care in relation to classic biomedical criteria.
B. Alex McKeon, Producer
Medical Anthropology M.A. Student
University of Colorado Denver
Current Theory in Ethnography
Marty Otañez, Instructor, Fall 2010