University of Twente Student Theses


Medical Liberation for Monstrous Bodies : Cultural Probes for Gender Justice in Breast Cancer Screening

Denz, S.T. (2023) Medical Liberation for Monstrous Bodies : Cultural Probes for Gender Justice in Breast Cancer Screening.

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Abstract:To lessen the burden of breast cancer, x-ray mammography is applied in breast cancer screening programmes in many European countries. Numerous novel technologies are being developed for diagnosing this “sex-specific” disease. However, current screening practice and technology causes irritations particularly expressed in feminist criticism. In this thesis, cultural probes and subsequent sessions are designed and applied as a critical yet sensitive participatory design research method. By embodying queer theory, Foucauldian biopower and Harawayan cyborg imagery, the probes explore gendered assumptions, technologies of power and for self-determination. Pop cultural symbols and the metaphor of monsters, generate intimate knowledge of participants’ gendered bodies and reveal complex and abstract power relations. Eight participants outlined their experience of patriarchal oppression of their body in health care and generally. The focus on cis women excludes several participants, adding to unpleasant notions of BCS. Participants shared intimate insight such as experiences of paternalism in gender affirming care. Some ideas to regain autonomy include biohacking i.e., hormone therapy, tattoos, or top surgery. Adjusting cultural probes as a research method on gender justice delivers not only intimate insight to affected communities, but also directly serves as a tool for reflection and emancipation.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:ET: Engineering Technology
Subject:02 science and culture in general, 08 philosophy, 44 medicine, 50 technical science in general, 73 cultural anthropology
Programme:Industrial Design Engineering MSc (66955)
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