New body-geographies: the embodied spaces of health and medical information on the Internet

Parr, H. (2002) New body-geographies: the embodied spaces of health and medical information on the Internet. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 20(1), pp. 73-95. (doi:10.1068/d41j)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1068/d41j

Abstract

This paper deals with the rise of health and medical information on the Internet and considers the implications of this for a sociocultural geography of the body. The key purpose is to document how this information is communicated, consumed, and embodied, and also to evaluate how 'healthy' and 'ill' bodies constitute important geographies which are negotiated and contested in virtual space. There are two clear foci in the paper. First, using Foucauldian understandings of medicalisation, the notion of a 'fourth spatialisation' of the medical gaze is evaluated in the context of the Internet as a new geography of health promotion which enables human subjects to 'self-diagnose' and to 'discipline' their bodies. Second, this argument is complicated by the use of empirical examples gathered from MS chat rooms, places in which communities of people gather to discuss and to contest medical knowledges which surround the 'ill' body. The paper concludes with speculation on research pathways for a 'new medical geography'.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Parr, Professor Hester
Authors: Parr, H.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
Journal Name:Environment and Planning D: Society and Space
Publisher:Pion
ISSN:0263-7758
ISSN (Online):1472-3433

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