Anna Mann

Anna Mann

Postdoc

My research brings together an anthropological interest in people’s everyday life with a science and technology studies (STS) focus on science and biomedicine. Currently, I am studying the making of “quality of life” in living with and treating chronic kidney disease in Austria. Previously, I have focused on moments in which something “tastes good”/tasting in Western Europe, and the practical construction of a quality such as “organic” in bread in Germany. The ethnographic case studies tie into and contribute to current debates on values in practice, on subjectivity and bodies, and on the relation between ‘the social’ and ‘the material’ in medical anthropology and science and technology studies.

Current research

Caring for quality of life. The case of chronic kidney disease in Austria

Herr P., who is in his 60s and lives in Vienna, likes Nature. He has recently signed up for a four-year course to become a hunting dog judge. Not only will the exam will be challenging. Combining the training with dialysis, which takes over Herr P.’s failing kidney functions three times a week for four hours in the hospital nearby, will be so as well. How will he do this?
This project investigates through participant observations and interviews in two regions in Austria how people who have been diagnosed with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) and their significant others learn to live as well as possible with disease; and how nurses and medical professionals provide health care services that allow their patients to live a life with as much ‘quality’ as possible.
Through cases such as Herr P., the project will shed light on how Quality of Life is enacted, crafted and performed in mundane practices of care and contributes to ongoing discussions about care and patient knowledge, the relation between knowledge and values, and interventions in biomedicine and social science.


External supervisors:

Cristóbal Bonelli PhD, Department of Geography, University of Sheffield
Assoc.-Prof. Dr. Maximilian Fochler, Department of Science and Technology Studies, University of Vienna
Prof. Dr. Jeanette Pols, Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research, University of Amsterdam

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