John Mullee

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Chicago, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 9243

Approve Date

April 8, 2016

Project Title

Mullee, John O'Donnell, U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'Cancer by Design: Integrating Chronic Care in Sao Paulo, Brazil,' supervised by Dr. Julie Y. Chu

JOHN MULLEE, then a graduate student at University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, received funding in April 2016 to aid research on ‘Cancer by Design: Integrating Chronic Care in Sao Paulo, Brazil,’ supervised by Dr. Julie Y. Chu. This dissertation is an ethnography of sociotechnical work and thought in Brazil’s largest, wealthiest metropolitan region, Greater Sao Paulo. More precisely, it examines the sociotechnical as it is imagined, materialized and re-envisioned through encounters with sa’de (health). However, its focus is not on biomedical conceptions of bodily health, nor on religious or otherwise ‘alternative’ approaches to wellbeing. Rather, the project is concerned with ways of thinking and encountering health system(s), as well as health work, health objects (paper/electronic records, MRI machines, hospital gurneys, etc.), and health law and policy more broadly. This variegated domain, which in English we gloss as ‘healthcare’, is signified in Brazil as simply ‘sa’de’. This is an ethnography of reflexive encounters with sa’de in this sense of the word: sa’de as the laws, objects, administrative mores and ontological visions of collective life through which coherent modes of sociotechnical work and thought transpire in Sao Paulo. These modes of work and thought are sociotechnical insofar as they constitute a convergence of technical principles with social processes. The dissertation will specify the characteristics of the sociotechnical through the analytic of approximations: an apparent set of technical, scientific and pseudo-mathematical values which condition imaginaries of health in Sao Paulo.