Foucault News

News and resources on French thinker Michel Foucault (1926-1984)

Lindh, K.
The construction of lay rescuers in bystander CPR classes
(2018) Library Trends, 66 (3), pp. 315-328.

DOI: 10.1353/lib.2018.0005

There are many situations in society and life in which the body is expected to play an important role for the acquisition of particular skills. This article reports on a study of such a situation, namely when information about first aid and how to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CRP) is mediated to nonmedical professionals. The aim of the article is to tease out how different modes of informing feature in first aid and CPR classes for the lay public in order to transform participants in such classes into CPR-trained lay rescuers ready to intervene in cases of what is suspected to be cardiac arrests. The understanding of the role of the body in information-related activities is based on a practice-theoretical approach. How information figures in the practice of first aid and CPR training is also discussed in light of Foucault’s notions of biopolitics and self-technologies. The practice-theoretical approach illuminates how bodies are entwined in information activities, and the notions of biopolitics and self-technology illuminate how the practice of bystander CPR training instantiates control through the different kinds of informing activities that occur in classes. This study is based on material gathered through observations in bystander CPR classes. © 2018 The Board of Trustees, University of Illinois.

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