New Book Details
How Video Technology Revolutionized Surgery
Contact: Karl Luntta(518) 437-4980
ALBANY, N.Y. (March 26, 2004) -- In his new book
Surgeons and the Scope
(Cornell University Press, 2003) UAlbany sociologist
James R. Zetka Jr. portrays the impact of the
video laparoscope on the work of contemporary
surgeons. The video laparoscope, a complex technological
innovation first used in operating rooms in the
early 1980s, allows surgeons to peer into the
inner abdomen with a miniaturized camera, thereby
enabling them to perform complex operations through
small, noninvasive ports in the abdominal wall.
Zetka blends rich interview and archival data
into an account of a revolutionary technological
development, showing how the new laparoscopic
technology challenged surgeons to rethink traditional
approaches to surgery, to relearn basic hand-eye
coordination, to master complex machinery, and
to shift from individualistic to team-based strategies.
He explains how and why general surgeons embraced
this technology by examining the breakdown of
the division of labor between general surgeons
and gastroenterologists in response to the unintended
and unanticipated outcomes of the scope technology.
In Surgeons and the Scope,
Zetka weaves cultural, structural, political and
economic developments into a detailed account
of technological change. By viewing the advent
of laparoscopic surgery within the context of
the history and ideology of medicine, Zetka provides
a deeper understanding of the politics of technology,
particularly its effects on job skills, occupations,
and worker control.
James R. Zetka Jr., an associate professor in
the department of sociology, is also author of
Militancy, Market Dynamics,
and Workplace Authority:
The Struggle over Labor Process Outcomes in the
U.S. Automobile Industry, 1946-1973.
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