The Cyclic Self: Menstrual Cycle Tracking as Body Politics

Details

Serval ID
serval:BIB_FFBF1D422AE3
Type
Article: article from journal or magazin.
Collection
Publications
Institution
Title
The Cyclic Self: Menstrual Cycle Tracking as Body Politics
Journal
Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, Technoscience
Author(s)
Della Bianca Laetitia
ISSN
2380-3312
Publication state
In Press
Peer-reviewed
Oui
Volume
7
Number
1
Language
english
Abstract
This article explores to what extent, and under what conditions, practices of fertility self-tracking shape and are shaped by particular power relations. Drawing on twenty-six interviews with users of a specific fertility tracker, I argue that through these self-tracking practices, users shape a relationship with their body that I call “cyclic self-fashioning”—a process through which the datafied body becomes a catalyst for understanding and intervening on the self. The article analyzes the ways these technologies contribute to users’ relationships with what emerges as the “fertile female body” and what comes to count as axiomatic about it. While at first glance the process of cyclic self-fashioning can be perceived as a reinforcement of biologism, it nonetheless challenges the appropriation by users of their biosociodigital body in everyday life. By focusing on practices that have received little attention so far in the self-tracking literature, the article shows how normative expectations in/of/from Western biomedicine about the fertile female body are used, challenged, or resisted by users in the pursuit of various purposes that extend beyond the optimization of an idealized reproductive body.
Keywords
self-tracking, digital health, body, body politics, embodied knowledge
Create date
11/03/2021 9:37
Last modification date
12/03/2021 6:25
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