What is microbial anthropology

English

The article takes up, through the concept of microbiopolitics outlined by Heather Paxson, a line of biopolitics reception within the framework of Cultural Anthropology and European Ethnology, to investigate what policies and practices are based on medical regulated intervention in relationship within the interactions between men and microbes. The idea of ​​microbiopolitcs is based on both natural-sciences diagnostics and ethnographic studies, putting the focus on the contribution of microorganism on disease processes and health, development, bodies and body practices. Based on the assumption that viruses and men are in close mutual relationships with one another, we take the example of the influenza virus, in order to discuss how viruses take part in the configuration of human bodies, as well as the production of scientific knowledge. In the comparison between microbiopolitics and biopolitics is shown that both perspectives are based on the premise that the body processes and life becomes the subject of orders of Power and Knowledge, and because of that, they are political interventions, which provide a starting point. However, they differ both perspectives in which processes of life are considered relevant, in which relationships they can be problematized and which potentials can be attributed to them. For a microbiopolitics of infectious disease which takes the spotlight is not much potential pathogenic microorganism, but the biosocial.