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Embodied Vulnerability in Large-Scale Technical Systems: Vulnerable Dam Bodies, Water Bodies, and Human Bodies
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Centre for Gender Research. (Technoscience)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2820-0584
2016 (English)In: Bodies, Boundaries and Vulnerabilities: Interrogating Social, Cultural and Political Aspects of Embodiment / [ed] Folkmarson Käll, Lisa, Switzerland: Springer, 2016, 47-79 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Challenging the modern ideal of human bodies as being in control both of bodies of nature and of the bodies of technology made to control nature, this chapter considers the vulnerability of large-scale hydropower dams and the intimate interdependencies between dam bodies, water bodies, and human bodies. It proposes a water-centered, rather than human-centered, reading of rivers and in particular of dammed rivers, through an understanding of hydropower dams as vulnerable bodies. Once constructed by human beings, hydropower dams take on a life of their own and become living organisms as they age, interact with land and rivers, and withstand and react to changing environmental conditions. This chapter also discusses processes of knowledge production in which different bodies of knowledge come to be perceived as embodied or disembodied and are granted status as primitive or scientific. Taking her point of departure in her own embodied history, the author seeks to retrace indigenous Sámi understandings of human cultural interconnectedness with nature. With a focus on the specific river Julevädno running through Sápmi in the north of Sweden, the chapter draws attention to the unpredictable agency of water and the porosity of human bodies, emphasizing risk and vulnerability as essential elements of their interrelation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Switzerland: Springer, 2016. 47-79 p.
Series
Crossroads of Knowledge, ISSN 2197-9634
National Category
Other Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-266408DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-22494-7_4ISBN: 978-3-319-22494-7 (print)ISBN: 978-3-319-22493-0 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-266408DiVA: diva2:867971
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2009-1736Swedish Research Council Formas, 2012-1845
Available from: 2015-11-09 Created: 2015-11-09 Last updated: 2016-09-07Bibliographically approved

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Publisher's full texthttp://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-22494-7_4

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Öhman, May-Britt

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