The Medicalization of Cyberspace

March 5, 2008

A few weeks ago, Jordí Sánchez-Navarro sent me a link to a book titled The Medicalization of Cyberspace written by Andy Miah and Emma Rich (see Table of Contents)

The entire infrastructure and culture of medicine is being transformed by digital technology, the Internet and mobile devices. Cyberspace is now regularly used to provide medical advice and medication, with great numbers of sufferers immersing themselves within virtual communities. What are the implications of this medicalisation of cyberspace for how people make sense of health and identity?

The Medicalisation of Cyberspace is the first book to explore the relationship between digital culture and medical sociology. It examines how technology is redefining expectations of and relationships with medical culture, addressing the following questions:

  • How will the rise of digital communities affect traditional notions of medical expertise?
  • What will the medicalisation of cyberspace mean in a new era of posthuman enhancements?
  • How should we regard hype and exaggeration about science in the media and how can this encourage public engagement with bioethics?

This book looks at the complex interactions between health, medicalisation, cyberculture, the body and identity. It addresses topical issues, such as medical governance, reproductive rights, eating disorders, Web 2.0, and perspectives on posthumanism. It is essential reading for healthcare professionals and social, philosophical and cultural theorists of health.

I have started to read the book but I haven’t finished it yet so I can not comment many things. As you can see above I have reproduced the back page of the book and linked the table of contents. It looks very interesting.

I am positively amazed by the digital identity of the authors. Andy Miah and Emma Rich have their own web sites and they have developed a blog with the same title of the book The Medicalization of Cyberspace. It looks like the “new generation” of researchers are taking care of the Internet to spread their work and build their networks.