Luca Mori

The feeble whisper of organs. Datification of health and identity building processes

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Health; Datification; Identity; Data Double; Self-Tracking; Medicalization.

The paper explores the phenomenon of health datification conceived as a growing trend toward tracking, quantifying and statistically analyzing everyday practices such as calories intaking, sleeping patterns, mood level, sport activities and others which are thought to be connected somehow to health maintenance. In so doing, the article sheds light on three different aspects of this manifestation. Firstly, it is argued that the process of health datification suggests a change in the relation between health and sickness. Traditionally conceived negatively as an absence of sickness, health seems now to be joined up with sickness in a continuum dangerously inclined toward the pathological side. Secondly, the paper analyzes the impact of self-tracking practices on the processes of identity building. In collecting data about their activities, physiological, and psychological states, individuals simultaneously elaborate an image of their self, a statistical doppelganger, called data double, who is thought to play an increasing role in the processes of identity building and self- managing. Thirdly, in the concluding remarks, a general discussion of the relation between self-tracking and the process of the medicalization of life is presented.

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