Antonio Maturo, Veronica Moretti

The medicalization of life between quantification and gamification

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Medicalization; Quantification; Gamification; Human Optimization; Sociology Of Health.

Conrad (2007) defined medicalization as the extension of medical frames in everyday life and in human conditions not viewed as pathological until that moment. According to him the (interrelated) engines of medicalization are: the economic forces, the proliferation of diagnosis, consumerism and the organization of care. It is possible to claim that medicalization is right now undergoing an additional growth. This expansion is spurred by digital devices and quantification. By health apps the «Quantified Self» can create attractive graphs and vivid histograms that represent fine-grained statistics on her physiological data. The mechanism that renders this process easy is quantification – that is data, measurements, the translation of life into numbers. Quantification is often boosted by gamification. Quantification is connected to a technoscientific imaginary of health based on biology and neurological frames. Quantification and gamification can foster a neoliberal idea of health as a personal responsibility, bracketing the fundamental role played by social determinants in shaping health status.

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