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Accounting for nonhuman material in health: The Wellbeing Machine


McLeod, K, Accounting for nonhuman material in health: The Wellbeing Machine, Sociology Seminar Series, 18 April 2016, Australian National University (2016) [Keynote Presentation]

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Wellbeing and illbeing are generally seen as interior states of the individual. This conventional understanding can be readily linked to individuals being blamed for the status of their wellbeing. This presentation reconceptualises wellbeing as intimately connected to nonhuman material. I will draw on the photos and narratives from research encounters with people who take antidepressants to explicate a conceptual entity called the Wellbeing Machine. The Wellbeing Machine is made up of four collective bodies or assemblages which each represent different affective capacities and different responses to the challenges of everyday life experienced by people with depression. The Wellbeing Machine suggests nonhuman entities and materials are crucial to the formation of assemblages from which people emerge, and for the possibility of emergent wellbeing. By linking ontological objects to what is generally seen as the interior states of the individual an account of wellbeing and illbeing is generated that does not contribute to a politics of blame. The Wellbeing Machine is a conceptual model with potential for interdisciplinary social science investigation into how health is produced across humans and the environment.

Item Details

Item Type:Keynote Presentation
Keywords:wellbeing, assemblage, Deleuze
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Sociology
Research Field:Sociological methodology and research methods
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in human society
UTAS Author:McLeod, K (Dr Kim McLeod)
ID Code:138573
Year Published:2016
Deposited By:Office of the School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2020-04-15
Last Modified:2020-04-20

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