‘Health-e discourse? Engaging the community in e-health developments for obesity self-management’ – Flis Henwood

November 26, 2009

“Innovative health technologies: health systems in transition Workshop”

Supported by: Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (IN3)

Organized by: Francisco Lupiáñez-Villanueva (Internet Interdisciplinary Institute –UOC) and Michael Hardey (Hull/York Medical School – Science and Technology Studies Unit, Department of Sociology, University of York)

Data: 26th and 27th November

Place: UOC IN3 building. Av. Canal Olímpic, s/n. Edifici B3, 08860 Castelldefels (Barcelona)

Flis Henwood’s presentation – ‘Health-e discourse? Engaging the community in e-health developments for obesity self-management’

Drawing on an action-oriented research project exploring and intervening in the lived experiences of those seeking to manage their weight, the paper explores how those engaged in weight management position themselves in relation to e-health discourse, exploring their engagements with dominant understandings of obesity, information and technologies (specifically ICTs) in particular. A case is then made for ‘engagement work’ that can explore and exploit the tensions within the discourse to promote a more progressive model for e-health development –one that supports the emergence of an active, critical and engaged citizen-user (the ‘health-e citizen) rather than the less ambitious but much more ubiquitous neo-liberal consumer-user (or ‘informed patient’).

Flis Henwood

Professor of Social Informatics at the University of Brighton in the UK.  In her early career, she published widely on gender and technology issues, co-editing Technology and In/Equality: Questioning the Information Society (2000) and Cyborg Lives? Women’s Technobiographies (2001). More recently, she has published on the social dynamics of e-Health, including an ‘e-Health’ special issue of the journal Information, Communication and Society (2005) and, most recently,  a co-edited volume entitled Gender, Health and Information Technology in Context (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009). Her journal publications have appeared in a range of disciplinary fields including gender studies, sociology of health and medicine, social policy, information systems and media studies.