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Interpellating Patients as Users: Patient Associations and the Project-Ness of Stem Cell Research

Henriette Langstrup
Science, Technology, & Human Values
Vol. 36, No. 4 (July 2011), pp. 573-594
Published by: Sage Publications, Inc.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23064875
Page Count: 22
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Interpellating Patients as Users: Patient Associations and the Project-Ness of Stem Cell Research
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Abstract

The author traces the ways in which various patients and collective associations of patients come to regard themselves as the users of future stem cell technologies. The author uses Althusser's notion of interpellation (1971/2006), whereby an identity is the result of the situated encounter of a subject and an authority, to analyze the ways in which patient associations' current involvement with basic research is related to the enactment of science as a series of technology development projects. The author argues that this "project-ness" forms a certain privileged logic that interpellates patients and their associations in specific ways. Through the listings of illnesses circulated in the mass media, which are hoped to be treatable or curable with stem cell therapies, patients come to recognize themselves as the projected users of stem cell technologies. The author fleshes out the process of this userfication and the various responses made by patients and their associations when hailed by the entrepreneurial projects of stem cell research.

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