Digital Health: Sociological Perspectives
26th Sociology of Health & Illness Monograph
Editors: Flis Henwood and Benjamin Marent
Today, where a new generation of mobile digital technologies are increasingly embedding into the organisation and practices of healthcare, digital health has become an increasingly important topic in studies of health and illness. The 26th Sociology of Health & Illness Monograph will bring together theoretical and empirical contributions to progress a distinctive sociological understanding of this rapidly developing and globally significant field. The monograph will be published in January issue of the journal in 2020 (online in December 2019). It will explore how sociological theories and methodologies are being developed and applied in analysing the co-evolution of digital technology and healthcare practices by addressing the following cross-cutting themes:
Digital subjectivities: Topics coming under this theme might explore how patients, carers and professionals are positioning themselves towards digital technologies and which role expectations and responsibilities are enacted by health apps and digital care pathways. Contributions are welcome that emphasise the emotions and embodiments that are produced and the strategies patients and professionals follow by engaging in, or resisting digital health.
Digital knowledge: We invite contributions that examine practices of collecting, sharing and sense-making of quantified health data. Thereby, the ambiguities inherent in quantified data and its negotiations with embodied, experiential or expert knowledge might be addressed. Particularly, we seek perspectives that explore new forms of labour involved in producing quantified data and generating health information and how these practices reconfigure lay knowledge, medical authority, and produce new forms of commodification.
Digital networks: Contributions are invited that theorise and explore the digital culture of connectivity and its consequences for patient-professional interactions, organisation of healthcare delivery, and everyday mobilities. Here, the relationship between closeness and distance in remote forms of care might become subject of discussion, particularly as applied in rural areas and the global south. Other topics might include new forms of integration and collaboration within virtual hospitals and communities of care. We welcome contributions investigating issues of power, surveillance, and privacy along the emergence of digital health networks.
Digital temporalities: This theme addresses the instantaneity through which health information is provided by digital technologies, giving rise to new constructions of illness histories and projections. We invite contributions that assess how patients and professionals experience the need for action created through instantaneity and how “present pasts” and “present futures” are enacted within current practices of self-care and treatment.
The monograph will appear both as a regular issue of the journal and in book form in January 2020.
Potential contributors should send an abstract of up to 600 words to firstname.lastname@example.org by 31 July 2017. Abstracts should clearly indicate the proposed paper’s sociological importance. Informal email enquiries prior to submission are welcome. Name and institutional affiliation of author(s) should also be supplied, including full contact details.
Proposals will be reviewed by the monograph team and potential authors notified by 30 September 2017. These shortlisted authors will be invited to submit their work by 31 January 2018. Submissions will be refereed in the usual way and should follow the journal’s style guidelines.
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