PhD Sociology Department, Lancaster University, UK
MA Sociology Department, Tung-Hai University, Taiwan
BA Sociology Department, Tung-Hai University, Taiwan
I am a Sociologist and my research centers on reproduction, and explores the fluidity of bodies, technologies care practices.
I have always been concerned with how care activities and reproductive technologies (re)construct decision-making subjects towards uncertainty and risk assessment in society, and this has drawn me to focus on several topics :
a) Informatics interpretation: for example, how digital technology such as ultrasound scans articulates the foetus inside the mother's womb and enacts the body;
b) Geneticization: for example, how genetic technologies provide new accounts of the idea of health and change the idea of life;
c) Decision-making and accountability: for example, how women's decisions about genetic testing and childbirth are entangled with cultural, social and medical practices.
Engaging in ethnographic studies enables me to explore the dynamics of collective, material-semiotic practice. This is one of the ways in which I wish to explore daily practices of care.
While my research initially was focused on the Taiwanese health care system, I have through several years to an increasing degree engaged in cross-cultural comparative analysis focusing both on Taiwan and Denmark. My interest in new biomedical technologies has led to collaboration with colleagues in the School of Medicine at Taipei Medical University and clinical practitioners in the hospitals, and from 2014 I have been conducting a project with obstetricians to investigate women's childbirth experience in Taiwan and in Denmark. Based on sessions of ethnographic work in Denmark including interviews with Danish pregnant women, midwives and obstetricians, I am in an early stage of a comparative study of Danish and Taiwanese women's reproductive choice regarding their childbirth movements. While the Danish health care system provides collaborative care between midwife and obstetrician, the Taiwanese system is based on obstetrician-led maternity care and doctor-shopping is common. My adopted theories and methods have enabled me to qualitatively trace and question technologically mediated care practice. This comparative study will provide an account of care practice and women's reproductive choice in a global context. All these projects I have been engaged with have brought me to question and challenge the Taiwanese maternity care practice. As one of the founding members of the Birth Reform Alliance in Taiwan, I am both working to explore and question modern maternity care, and am actively engaged in promoting women's reproductive rights.
I am conducting two MOST projects, and they are about individual experience of miscarriage and being single and childness in Taiwan.
Grants and awards
Shih, Li-Wen (2021) “Translation of Prenatal Genetic Screening and Testing from the 1970s to the present in Taiwan” Chronic Living Conference: quality, vitality and health in the 21st century, 4th-6th March 2021, Copenhagen University, Denmark.
Shih, Li-Wen (2020) “Li-Wen Shih (2020) ‘I See Their Sounds’: Danish Midwives’ ‘Silent Skill’ In Women’s Labour And Its Logic Of Care. In Taiwanese Sociological Association Annual Conference. 28th-29th November 2020, National Taiwan University, Taiwan.
Shih, Li-Wen (2020) “Change with Time? Taiwanese Women’s Situatedness of Being Single and Childless” EASST/4S 2020 Conference. 18th-21st August 2020, Prague.
Shih, Li-Wen (2020) “Rearticulating Natural Birth: Rebozo as an Alternative Treatment in Childbirth in Denmark” Gendering Transformations, 28th-30th October 2020, National Central Library, Taiwan. (abstract accepted, conference postponed)
Shih, Li-Wen (2019) “Matters of Care in Childbirth: Meeting Expectations and Shared Doctoring in Taiwanese Maternity Care” Nordic STS conference, 13th-14th June 2019, Tampere University, Finland.
Shih, Li-Wen (2018) “Risky Pregnancy? Encountering Choice and Risk Assessment in Non-Invasive Prenatal Diagnosis” EASST2018 Conference: Meetings – Making Science, Technology and Society together, 25th -28th July 2018, Lancaster University, UK.
Shih, Li-Wen “Meeting Expectations of Childbirth: Taiwanese Women’s New Reproductive Choice and Shared Doctoring in Maternity Care” Taiwanese Sociological Association Annual Meeting, 1st-2nd December 2018, National Chiao-Tung University. (Chinese)
Shih, Li-Wen (2018) “The Promise of Prenatal Genetic Screening and Testing and Taiwanese Women's reproductive Choice” Reproductive futures in the Asia Pacific, 7th-8th June 2018, Monash University, Australia.
Shih, Li-Wen (2017) “Enacting Bodies: Pregnant Women and Their Fotuses in Prenatal Ultrasound Scans in Taiwan” EASA Medical Anthropology Network meeting Bodies in Transition, 5th-7th July 2017, Lisbon, Portugal.
Shih, Li-Wen (2016) “Choreographing Childbirth: The Logic of Maternity Care and the Logic of Women’s Reproductive Choice” 4S/EASST, 31st August–3rd September 2016, Barcelona, Spain.
Shih, Li-Wen (2015) “Drawing as a Method/ology: Situating and En-acting Up Taiwanese Pregnant Women’s Experience of Prenatal Screening and Testing” European Sociology Association Annual Conference, 26th-28th August 2015, Prague, Czech Republic.
Shih, Li-Wen (2015) “Technological Mothering: Taiwanese Pregnant Women and Their Foetuses” The 13th Annual Conference of Gender and Health, 25th-26th April 2015, National Yang-Ming University, Taiwan.
Shih, Li-Wen (2015) “Body-Enacted: Prenatal Ultrasound Scans in Taiwan” When STS meets Humanities in Medicine Workshop, 24th March 2015, Taipei Medical University, Taiwan.
Shih, Li-Wen (2014) “Taiwanese Moral Pioneers: The Paradox of Choice, Anxiety and Responsibility” From Medicalization to Alternative Knowledge-in-Practice Workshop, 12th September 2014, National Yang-Ming University, Taiwan.
Shih, Li-Wen (2013) “Prenatal Care Shopping in Taiwan: The Logic of Prenatal Care and the Logic of Choice” Gender and Health Annual Conference 2013, National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan. (winner of the best paper)
Shih, Li-Wen (2012) “Body-Enacted: Pleasure and Anxiety in Prenatal Screening and Testing in Taiwan” Annual Meeting of the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S), Copenhagen Business School, Denmark.
Shih, Li-Wen (2011) “From 2D, 3D, 4D, ET to the Cyborg Foetus: Refiguring Prenatal Ultrasound Scans” 1st October, National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan. (winner of the best paper)
Shih, Li-Wen (2011) “Drawing as a Research Method: Refiguring Prenatal Screening and Testing” Lancaster Sociology Summer Conference, 1st-3rd July, Lancaster University, UK.
Shih, Li-Wen (2010) “Body Enacted: Refiguring Prenatal Ultrasound Screening” PRISM 2010: Postgraduate Researchers in Science Medicine conference, 23rd September 2010, Lancaster University, UK.
Shih, Li-Wen (2009) “Engaging With Reproductive Technology: A Case Study of Prenatal Check in Taiwan” Lancaster Sociology Summer Conference, Lancaster University, UK.
In the media
SupervisionI am currently supervising two students: