Social Freezing—About the Biologization of Risks, the Cryotechnological Pausing of Time and the Preservation of Options


  • Isabelle Bosbach Evangelische Hochschule RWL



social freezing, cryobiology, cryotechnology, technological protection of options, sociology of knowledge approach to discourse, individualization theory


In the context of an economically oriented, accelerated, multi-optional and reflexive modernity, the successful Existenzbastelei [existence tinkering] (HITZLER & HONER 2012 [1994]) of the contemporary human is placed in relation to efficient management of one's own lifetime. The societal relevance of a plannable handling of time is also expressed in technological developments that hold out the prospect of solutions to perceived temporal incompatibilities, such as social freezing: Women who find their life incompatible with family planning can thus remove oocytes for future use.

This article is contextualized by my research project in which I investigate the relationship between concern for a potentially endangered body in the future and cryotechnological, body-related precautions and related notions of time, body and life. I explore the phenomenon social freezing, which is classified as an attempt to reconcile temporal incompatibility against a background of individualization theory and framed through the genesis of cryobiology. The first results of a discourse analysis of the expert discourse from the perspective of the sociology of knowledge are presented. Thereby I examined which notions of time are fundamental to the phenomenon, how time is discoursed by experts as a controllable resource, and whether social change in the handling of time can be derived.


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Author Biography

Isabelle Bosbach, Evangelische Hochschule RWL

Isabelle BOSBACH ist seit November 2017 als wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin an der Ev. Hochschule RWL beschäftigt. Seit Oktober 2019 promoviert sie am Lehrstuhl für Sozialwissenschaftliche Theorie an der Carl von Ossietzky Universität in Oldenburg und ist seit Februar 2020 Stipendiatin des Evangelischen Studienwerks Villigst im Promotionsschwerpunkt "Dimensionen der Sorge".



How to Cite

Bosbach, I. (2020). Social Freezing—About the Biologization of Risks, the Cryotechnological Pausing of Time and the Preservation of Options. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 21(2).



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