Send to

Choose Destination
Sociol Health Illn. 2016 Jun;38(5):768-81. doi: 10.1111/1467-9566.12389. Epub 2015 Nov 24.

Con-forming bodies: the interplay of machines and bodies and the implications of agency in medical imaging.

Author information

Lancaster Medical School, Lancaster University, UK.


Attending to the material discursive constructions of the patient body within cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) imaging in radiotherapy treatments, in this paper I describe how bodies and machines co-create images. Using an analytical framework inspired by Science and Technology Studies and Feminist Technoscience, I describe the interplay between machines and bodies and the implications of materialities and agency. I argue that patients' bodies play a part in producing scans within acceptable limits of machines as set out through organisational arrangements. In doing so I argue that bodies are fabricated into the order of work prescribed and embedded within and around the CBCT system, becoming, not only the subject of resulting images, but part of that image. The scan is not therefore a representation of a passive subject (a body) but co-produced by the work of practitioners and patients who actively control (and contort) and discipline their body according to protocols and instructions and the CBCT system. In this way I suggest they are 'con-forming' the CBCT image. A Virtual Abstract of this paper can be found at:


STS (science and technology studies); allied health professions; body; ethnography; men's health

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center