Digital life and health humanities

Authored by: Olivia Banner

The Routledge Companion to Health Humanities

Print publication date:  February  2020
Online publication date:  February  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138579903
eBook ISBN: 9780429469060
Adobe ISBN:


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This article summarizes the central dynamics underlying today’s digitization of health and health care: the embedding of for-profit technology companies within health-care institutions and health practices, and the bias and discriminatory design that accompanies them. It argues that this embedding of technologies produces issues for the health humanities that call for new concepts and methods drawn from science and technology studies. The article explains one such concept, “technoculture,” and uses two examples––patient networking sites and Wikipedia’s “disability” entry––to illustrate the concept. Understanding how technology-mediated websites are produced from culture will allow the health humanities better insight into such issues as engineered bias and discriminatory design in health technologies and practices.

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