Campus Box 1114
One Brookings Drive
St. Louis, MO 63130-4899
As a sociocultural anthropologist interested in the links between biomedicine and social inequality in socialist and post-socialist contexts, I work at the nexus of medical anthropology, science and technology studies, and sinology. I have conducted ethnographic research on the urban Chinese health care system since 2004.
I am currently completing a book manuscript that situates the rise of medical tourism for stem cell therapies within the politico-economic transformations of the Chinese health care system. Drawing on two years of multi-sited fieldwork funded by the National Science Foundation, I argue that the conjunction of market-driven reforms and new communication technologies has reconfigured the quest for biomedical cures on a global scale, and I explore what this means in the lives of those affected by these transformations. Changes in the political economy of health care have encouraged Chinese surgeons to experiment with lucrative biomedical interventions for foreign patients, transforming China's urban medical system into a laboratory for entrepreneurial tactics that blur the boundaries between public and private, legal and illegal, ethical and unethical. At the same time, Internet health forums have engendered new digital subjectivities and activated a health movement of U.S. patients, families, and researchers who cross national borders to pursue experimental stem cell therapies. By foregrounding what is at stake for Chinese doctors and their patients from around the world, my research illuminates the formative processes driving the stratification of health care during a time of enormous change in both China and the United States.
I have also conducted research on popular religion in Taiwan, infertility and assisted reproductive technologies in Beijing, stem cell laboratory practices in Boston, and radiation oncology in Cleveland. For more information see my personal website as well as the overview of the department's research in sociocultural anthropology.
Song, Priscilla. 2011. "The Proliferation of Stem Cell Therapies in
Post-Mao China: Problematizing Ethical Regulation." New Genetics and
Society. 30(2): 141-153.
Song, Priscilla. 2010. "Biotech Pilgrims and the Transnational Quest
for Stem Cell Cures." Medical Anthropology: Cross-Cultural Studies in
Health and Illness 29(4): 384-402.
Prayson, Richard, Dasarahally Mohan, Priscilla Song, and John Suh.
2000. "Clinicopathologic Study of Forty-Four Histologically Pure
Supratentorial Oligodendrogliomas." Annals of Diagnostic Pathology
Ciezki, Jay, Urs Hafeli, Priscilla Song et al. 1999. "Parenchymal Cell
Proliferation in Coronary Arteries after Percutaneous Transluminal
Coronary Angioplasty: A Human Tissue Bank Study." International
Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics 45(4):963-968.
Contemporary Chinese Culture and Society (L48 3055)
Material Culture in Modern China (L48 3056)
Popular Culture and Consumption in Modern China (L48 4011)
Culture, Illness and Healing in Asia (L48 4033)
Cultures of Science and Technology (L48 4454)