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Energopower and Biopower
in Transition


Introduction by Dominic Boyer

Volume 87, #2

Spring 2014

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Volume 87, #2 • Spring 2014




Lines of Labor and Desire: “Korean Quality” in Contemporary Kathmandu

Heather Hindman & Robert Oppenheim, University of Texas at Austin

ABSTRACT — Using the theoretically and empirically multivalent concept of “Korean quality,” this article examines articulations of consumption, popular culture, and labor migration in contemporary Nepal. Drawing on the anticipation surrounding the 2010 administration of the Employment Permit System-Korean Language Test, for which over 40,000 Nepalis were candidates, we embed this moment in longer histories of desire and discipline. The qualification mechanism deployed in this system both shifts and is crosscut by Nepali landscapes of risk, class habitus, and expectation. Going beyond the frames in which such phenomena are usually considered, we suggest, is necessary for mapping oft-hidden entanglements of transnational processes. [Keywords: Quality, labor migration, (South) Korea, Nepal, assessment, class, expectation]


Local Biologies and Ecologies of Screening: Tracing the Aftereffects
of the “Shanghai Study”

Nancy J. Burke, University of California, San Francisco

ABSTRACT — Between 1988 and 1995, the first randomized controlled trial (RCT) of breast self-exam (BSE) was conducted in Shanghai, China. Subsequent policy recommendations transformed the landscape of breast cancer screening in North America as practice guidelines shifted from “BSE” toward “breast awareness.” Critiques of the study raised issues of race, regionalism, and difference. I turn to Margaret Lock’s concept local biology to tease out the complexities of these arguments, and expand upon it to consider the impact of local ecologies of screening on receipt and implementation of international behavioral clinical trial results. The case study of the Shanghai trial illuminates conflicts and controversies around what constitutes evidence in breast cancer prevention research, and for whom. [Keywords: Clinical trials, biomedicalization, breast cancer screening, China]