Magnetic Appeal: MRI and the Myth of Transparency

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9780801474569: Magnetic Appeal: MRI and the Myth of Transparency
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Magnetic Resonance Imaging, not so long ago a diagnostic tool of last resort, has become pervasive in the landscape of consumer medicine; images of the forbidding tubes, with their promises of revelation, surround us in commercials and on billboards. Magnetic Appeal offers an in-depth exploration of the science and culture of MRI, examining its development and emergence as an imaging technology, its popular appeal and acceptance, and its current use in health care.

Understood as modern and uncontroversial by health care professionals and in public discourse, the importance of MRI―or its supposed infallibility―has rarely been questioned. In Magnetic Appeal, Kelly A. Joyce shows how MRI technology grew out of serendipitous circumstances and was adopted for reasons having little to do with patient safety or evidence of efficacy. Drawing on interviews with physicians and MRI technologists, as well as ethnographic research conducted at imaging sites and radiology conferences, Joyce demonstrates that current beliefs about MRI draw on cultural ideas about sight and technology and are reinforced by health care policies and insurance reimbursement practices. Moreover, her unsettling analysis of physicians' and technologists' work practices lets readers consider that MRI scans do not reveal the truth about the body as is popularly believed, nor do they always lead to better outcomes for patients. Although clearly a valuable medical technique, MRI technology cannot necessarily deliver the health outcomes ascribed to it.

Magnetic Appeal also addresses broader questions about the importance of medical imaging technologies in American culture and medicine. These technologies, which include ultrasound, X-ray, and MRI, are part of a larger trend in which visual representations have become central to American health, identity, and social relations.

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About the Author:

Kelly A. Joyce is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the College of William and Mary.

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"Every chapter of Magnetic Appeal interrogates MRI from a different angle, each in turn questioning cultural assumptions in conjunction with the social, political, and economic relations that support and define the use of MRI. Taken together the chapters open a fascinating window into the realm of medical imaging technology. . . . A valuable read for those interested in medical technology, trends in healthcare, and science and technology studies, Magnetic Appeal brings to light the multiple factors that constitute our faith in medical technology."―Aleia Clark, Sociology of Health and Illness (Volume 31, Number 7, 2009)



"When a doctor orders an MRI, patients rarely think twice. After reading Magnetic Appeal you will be surprised and unsettled to find out how this seemingly infallible tool achieved its status as cultural icon and paradigmatic technology for health care in the twenty-first century."―Meika Loe, Colgate University, author of The Rise of Viagra

"Kelly A. Joyce's intriguing and insightful book about the emergence and use of MRI technology is a benchmark work in understanding the impact of visual technologies on medicine and society. Joyce's analysis of how images become authoritative knowledge will challenge notions of 'seeing is believing. Magnetic Appeal is a major contribution to medical sociology as well as science studies."―Peter Conrad, Harry Coplan Professor of Social Sciences, Brandeis University

"Magnetic Appeal gives depth and breadth to our understanding of the practices and political economy of MRI. The book offers a rich ethnography of MRI laboratory and clinical work. I regard it as a definitive work in the STS study of biomedical imaging technologies."―Lisa Cartwright, University of California, San Diego

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Book Description Cornell University Press, United States, 2008. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Magnetic Resonance Imaging, not so long ago a diagnostic tool of last resort, has become pervasive in the landscape of consumer medicine; images of the forbidding tubes, with their promises of revelation, surround us in commercials and on billboards. Magnetic Appeal offers an in-depth exploration of the science and culture of MRI, examining its development and emergence as an imaging technology, its popular appeal and acceptance, and its current use in health care.Understood as modern and uncontroversial by health care professionals and in public discourse, the importance of MRI--or its supposed infallibility--has rarely been questioned. In Magnetic Appeal, Kelly A. Joyce shows how MRI technology grew out of serendipitous circumstances and was adopted for reasons having little to do with patient safety or evidence of efficacy. Drawing on interviews with physicians and MRI technologists, as well as ethnographic research conducted at imaging sites and radiology conferences, Joyce demonstrates that current beliefs about MRI draw on cultural ideas about sight and technology and are reinforced by health care policies and insurance reimbursement practices. Moreover, her unsettling analysis of physicians and technologists work practices lets readers consider that MRI scans do not reveal the truth about the body as is popularly believed, nor do they always lead to better outcomes for patients. Although clearly a valuable medical technique, MRI technology cannot necessarily deliver the health outcomes ascribed to it.Magnetic Appeal also addresses broader questions about the importance of medical imaging technologies in American culture and medicine. These technologies, which include ultrasound, X-ray, and MRI, are part of a larger trend in which visual representations have become central to American health, identity, and social relations. Seller Inventory # AAJ9780801474569

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Book Description Cornell University Press, United States, 2008. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Magnetic Resonance Imaging, not so long ago a diagnostic tool of last resort, has become pervasive in the landscape of consumer medicine; images of the forbidding tubes, with their promises of revelation, surround us in commercials and on billboards. Magnetic Appeal offers an in-depth exploration of the science and culture of MRI, examining its development and emergence as an imaging technology, its popular appeal and acceptance, and its current use in health care.Understood as modern and uncontroversial by health care professionals and in public discourse, the importance of MRI--or its supposed infallibility--has rarely been questioned. In Magnetic Appeal, Kelly A. Joyce shows how MRI technology grew out of serendipitous circumstances and was adopted for reasons having little to do with patient safety or evidence of efficacy. Drawing on interviews with physicians and MRI technologists, as well as ethnographic research conducted at imaging sites and radiology conferences, Joyce demonstrates that current beliefs about MRI draw on cultural ideas about sight and technology and are reinforced by health care policies and insurance reimbursement practices. Moreover, her unsettling analysis of physicians and technologists work practices lets readers consider that MRI scans do not reveal the truth about the body as is popularly believed, nor do they always lead to better outcomes for patients. Although clearly a valuable medical technique, MRI technology cannot necessarily deliver the health outcomes ascribed to it.Magnetic Appeal also addresses broader questions about the importance of medical imaging technologies in American culture and medicine. These technologies, which include ultrasound, X-ray, and MRI, are part of a larger trend in which visual representations have become central to American health, identity, and social relations. Seller Inventory # AAJ9780801474569

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