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Learning to produce, see, and say the (ab)normal: professional vision in ultrasound scanning during pregnancy

  • Kerstin Sandell
Publiceringsår: 2010
Språk: Engelska
Dokumenttyp: Konferensbidrag

Abstract english

This paper deals with midwives learning to do ultrasound scans in around week 17 of pregnancy and a central aspect of that learning: seeing and communicating the (ab)normal. It is an investigation into acquiring what Charles Goodwin refers to as a “professional vision” (1994) and into what that vision entails in terms of embodied skills. The focus is on “what we learn how to see” (Haraway 1991:190), or the structuring of embodied seeing in a medical practice.

The paper discusses the different parts of professional vision that Godwin points out: highlighting – in ultrasound that is the way in which deviances in the body of the foetus gets noticed by the midwives; coding – the way deviances are named; and material representations where the normal gets almost unrepresented but where there is a scopic focus on and interest in the deviant.


  • Gender Studies
  • ultrasound
  • normal
  • pathological
  • practice
  • medicine
  • midwives


XVII World Congress of SociologyXVII International Sociological Association (ISA) World Congress of Sociology
Kerstin Sandell portrait
E-post: kerstin [dot] sandell [at] genus [dot] lu [dot] se


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