Dr. Malissa Kay Shaw 

Contact information:

Job title

Associate Professor and Administrative Advisor

Office phone number

02-2736-1661 Ext. 8612

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PhD     Sociology, University of Edinburgh, UK (2016)
MSc    Medical Anthropology, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands (2009) 
BA       International Relations; Spanish Language, Syracuse University, USA (2008)

Research Interests

My principal research interests include: 
  1. Medical Sociology
  2. Biotechnologies 
  3. Assisted Reproductive Technologies
  4. Body and Embodiment 
  5. Women's Health
  6. Science and Technology Studies

I have conducted extensive ethnographic research in Colombia on couples' and healthcare professionals experiences using assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs). In this analysis I consider the agentic ways that women engage with these technologies as they strive to conceive on their own terms and the ways in which these women and their agency is transformed during this process. This analysis also explores how notions of kinship, regional identity, and historico-political factors shape perceptions of donor conception along familial and familiar lines influencing the types of treatments certain couples are willing to utilize. In Colombia, doctors' agency is also shape by wider social processes, such as the lack of legal regulations, the high costs and competition of privatized medicine, and a lack of collaboration between specialists, creating a context in which doctors must improve as their determine the ethical boundaries that frame their practice. 

My research in Taiwan currently involves two projects. One concerns healthcare professionals' perceptions of stem cell research and developing therapies and the ways in which these perceptions impact medical students’ learning. The other focuses on women's reproductive health, as I explore women's experiencing of undergoing routine pelvic examinations in Taiwan. This study involves both Taiwanese citizens as well as foreigners living in Taiwan, providing opportunity to compare the experiences of a diverse group of women. 

Key Publications 

Shaw, M.K. Menstrual materiality: Anthropological mappings from menstrual taboos to the FemCare industry. In: C. van Hollen & N.S. Appleton (eds.),
Companion to the Anthropology of Reproductive Science and Technology. Wiley Blackwell, expected publication 2023. 

Shaw, M.K. (2021) Exploring the multiplicity of embodied agency in Colombian assisted reproduction, Body & Society, 27(4): 55-80. [Link to Publication]

Shaw, M.K., Chandratilake, M., Ho, M.J., Rees, C.E., & L.V. Monrouxe (2020) Female victims and female perpetrators: Medical students' narratives of gender dynamics and professionalism dilemmas, Advances in Health Sciences Education, 25: 299-319 [Link to Publication]

Shaw, M.K. (2019) Doctors as moral pioneers: Negotiated boundaries of assisted conception in Colombia, Sociology of Health and Illness. [Full Text]

Shaw, M.K., Rees, C.E., Andersen, N.B., Black, L.F., & L.V. Monrouxe (2018) Professionalism lapses and hierarchies: A qualitative analysis of medical students’ narrated acts of resistance, Social Science & Medicine 219:45-53. [Link to Publication]

Shaw, M.K. (2018) The familial and the familiar: Locating relatedness in Colombian donor conception, Medical Anthropology: Cross-Cultural Studies in Health and Illness 37(4):280-293. [Full Text]

  1. Society, Technology & Medicine (3160E178)
  2. Humanity, Society & Medical Education (3160E180)
  3. Mind, body & society (A074E004)
  4. Medical Anthropology (3360E007)
  5. Medicalized Conception in the Global Context (3160E194)
  6. Qualitative Research Methodology (30650040)
  7. Social Medicine (31600181)
  8. Issues in Advanced Maternal Nursing (3160E192)

Past & Current Supervisees

Cheng-Hsien Chiang (graduated)
Mu-Yue Wei