Self-Tracking, Health and Medicine
Self-tracking practices are part of many health and medical domains. The introduction of digital technologies such as smartphones, tablet computers, apps, social media platforms, dedicated patient support sites and wireless devices for medical monitoring has contributed to the expansion of opportunities for people to engage in self-tracking of their bodies and health and illness states. The contributors to this book cover a range of self-tracking techniques, contexts and geographical locations: fitness tracking using the wearable Fitbit device in the UK; English adolescent girls’ use of health and fitness apps; stress and recovery monitoring software and devices in a group of healthy Finns; self-monitoring by young Australian illicit drug users; an Italian diabetes self-care program using an app and web-based software; and ‘show-and-tell’ videos uploaded to the Quantified Self website about people’s experiences of self-tracking. Major themes running across the collection include the emphasis on self-responsibility and self-management on which self-tracking rationales and devices tend to rely; the biopedagogical function of self-tracking (teaching people about how to be both healthy and productive biocitizens); and the reproduction of social norms and moral meanings concerning health states and embodiment (good health can be achieved through self-tracking, while illness can be avoided or better managed). This book was originally published as a special issue of the Health Sociology Review.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Self-tracking, health and medicine Deborah Lupton
1. Health by numbers? Exploring the practice and experience of datafied health Gavin J. D. Smith and Ben Vonthethoff
2. Social rhythms of the heart Mika Pantzar, Minna Ruckenstein and Veera Mustonen
3. Clinical self-tracking and monitoring technologies: negotiations in the ICT-mediated patient–provider relationship Enrico Maria Piras and Francesco Miele
4. Training to self-care: fitness tracking, biopedagogy and the healthy consumer Aristea Fotopoulou and Kate O’Riordan
5. Harm reduction and the ethics of drug use: contemporary techniques of self-governance Margaret Pereira and John Scott
6. Mobile, wearable and ingestible health technologies: towards a critical research agenda Emma Rich and Andy Miah
7. Are we fit yet? English adolescent girls’ experiences of health and fitness apps Annaleise Depper and P. David Howe
Deborah Lupton is Centenary Research Professor in the News & Media Research Centre, Faculty of Arts & Design at the University of Canberra, Australia. She is the author/co-author of sixteen books, the latest of which are Digital Sociology (2015) and The Quantified Self: A Sociology of Self-Tracking (2016).