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Health identities: from expert patient to resisting consumer

[journal article]

Fox, Nick; Ward, Katie

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Abstract This article explores the formation of 'health identities': embodied subjectivities that emerge out of complex psychosocial contexts of reflexive modernity, in relation to data on health and illness practices among groups of people and patients using medical technologies including weight-loss drugs and the erectile dysfunction drug sildenafil (Viagra). We examine a range of health identities, from the 'expert patient' - a person who broadly adopts a biomedical model of health and illness, to a 'resisting consumer', who fabricates a health identity around lay experiential models of health and the body. The understanding of health identities is developed within a theoretical framework drawing on previous work on body/ self and the work of Deleuze and Guattari. It is concluded that the constellation of health identities reflects the diversity of relations in an industrialized, technology-driven, consumer-oriented and media-saturated society.
Classification Medical Sociology
Free Keywords body; Deleuze; health; identity; subjectivity
Document language English
Publication Year 2006
Page/Pages p. 461-479
Journal Health, 10 (2006) 4
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)