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Inspecting life: professional vision in assisted reproduction technology

Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift
Författare Rebecka Arman
Alexander Styhre
Publicerad i Cognition, Technology & Work
Volym 21
Nummer/häfte 3
Sidor 383–396
ISSN 1435-5558
Publiceringsår 2018
Publicerad vid Företagsekonomiska institutionen, Management & Organisation
Sidor 383–396
Språk en
Länkar https://doi.org/10.1007/s10111-018-...
Ämnesord Professional vision · Visual practices · Embryology · Assisted reproductive technologies
Ämneskategorier Företagsekonomi


A growing scholarship in organization studies has examined how visual practices are informed by and situated within organizational settings and routines. Using the concept of professional vision, this is a study of the visual work of embryologists selecting human embryos in the field of assisted reproductive technologies. The term professional vision accentuates how embryologists cope with a number of tensions to accomplish disciplinary objectivity in their work. The study shows how visual practices are simultaneously individual and collective. While there are internationally enacted standard protocols guiding the routine-based work, these are continuously modified as novel clinical data is reported. Therefore, the embryologists’ inspection of life needs to actively accommodate both standard cases and deviations therefrom. This ultimately renders the professional vision of embryology something other than an “exact science” but rather a fluid, partly improvised, subjective, and at the same time highly specialized, routinized aesthetic practice. The study contributes to the emerging scholarship on visuality and professional vision in organizations, specifically to how standards are used in such practices. In addition, the study adds to the organizational research on assisted reproduction technology.

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