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Relationality, Individuality and Entanglements of Helping in the Context of a Touristic Vaccine Trial

Nordic Research Subjects in West Africa

Authors

  • Katriina Emilia Huttunen University of Helsinki

Abstract

This article explores the idea of relationality and distributive agency in the context of a clinical vaccine trial. The diarrhoea vaccine trial was conducted in Western Africa, but as a unique element, recruited Finnish adults as trial participants, who travelled to the trial site to West Africa. Engaging with previous research on clinical trials in the global South that has emphasized the relationality and social embeddedness of Southern trial subjects, this article argues for an enacted social-material relationality of any research subject. As the vaccine trial under study transformed into practices and ideas of helping, the analysis illustrates forms of relational subjectivity and distributive agency by focusing on the notion of helping. The analysis is based on the trial participants’ accounts and practices, and draws on qualitative interviews (51) and ethnographic observation conducted between 2017 and 2019 at the trial site in West Africa.

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Section
Research Papers

Published

2022-07-04

How to Cite

Huttunen, K. E. (2022) “Relationality, Individuality and Entanglements of Helping in the Context of a Touristic Vaccine Trial: Nordic Research Subjects in West Africa”, Science & Technology Studies. doi: 10.23987/sts.113032.