This will be the last post for a while. This blog has been for a course called Anthropology of the Body. I might write more posts and continue with this blog but for now I will leave you with three closing thoughts and subjects that I would like to consider in the future.
1) I would like to take a look at hearing tests for babies. I have been taking BSL classes and have been grateful for the opportunity to learn a little bit about British deaf culture. Many deaf people choose to get one or two cochlear implants which, unlike hearing aids, send sound signals to the brain. Many do not.
For these people, their deafness is a part of them, not a disability. I would be interested to look at how through framing deaf people as missing something vital, they are relegated to the fringes of society. How does a baby growing up in a signing versus a not signing home conceptualize and experience their deafness? How do deaf children learn differently and the same as other babies?
As Farnell explains, our understanding of being human and our experiences are profoundly socially constructed by “normative pre-theoretical assumptions”; therefore how deafness is imagined by others influence how it is experienced by infants (2003, pg. 373).
2) More generally, on the topic of stress, stigma and discrimination, I would like to look at how early childhood and in-utero experience to violence and stress can affect health outcomes and life expectancy (Burke et. al, 2011, Harrel et al, 2003).
Epigenetics and infants is a fascinating topic, as we come to realize that “Bodies are not made, they grow” and that the self is neither bounded or concretized at conception, but is continually shaped by experience (Ridley, 2004). For example, malnourishment during certain periods of gestation has been linked not only to increased chance of type II diabetes, obesity, and heart disease but also mood disorders and schizophrenia (Scholte et. al.).
3) How can the photos I have used in my blog be understood as structurally violent? I already talked about Google algorithms in a previous blog, but what rights do I have/should I have to use photos sourced from Google, even if I cite them properly?
In an age of ever increasing connectivity, for example, there are roughly 9000 Snapchat photos sent every minute around the world. What measures are in place to give non-consenting age children agency over their image on the web? Where is ownership of digital content headed and how will it affect the infants of today, the Instagramers of tomorrow?
There is so much more to discover, but thank-you for following me in this adventure so far!
Farnell, B. (1999), ‘Moving Bodies, Acting Selves,’ Annual Review of Anthropology 28: pg. 341-373.
Burke, N; Hellman, J; Scott, B; Weems, C; Carrion, V. 2011. The impact of adverse childhood experiences on an urban pediatric population. Child Abuse & Neglect, vol. 35 no. 6, pp. 408.
Ridley, M. (2004), What makes you who you are, Child growth and development, pp. 2-7.
Scholte , R; Van Den Berg, G; Lindeboom, M. 2012. Long-Run Effects of Gestation During the Dutch Hunger Winter Famine on Labor Market and Hospitalization Outcomes, The Institute for the Study of Labor.
Featured Image (a still from the documentary “Babies”mentioned in the first post): http://thefabweb.com/45910/30-best-pictures-of-the-week-showing-human-emotion-june-05th-to-june-11th-2012/attachment/45940/