Healthy Creativity: The Implicit Normativity of Healthy Citizenship
09 / 2012 - 08 / 2014
Health is increasingly becoming a matter of personal responsibility, that we are expected to actively manage and monitor. This normative ideal of ?healthy citizenship? has been criticized for contributing to a new biological determinism and enabling the transfer of responsibilities from the state to the individual ? for disciplining rather than empowering. But this critique does not provide an alternative, and it fails to account for many experiences of patients today. The aim of my research is to articulate an alternative ideal of healthy citizenship: a creative ideal of healthy citizenship that is implied in a variety of emerging health practices, from genetic testing, to telecare, to the use of the internet for medical research. In these contexts patients often display a resourceful use of biological information that resists concerns of biological determinism and discipline. In order to articulate this alternative normativity, I will conduct a philosophical meta-analysis of recent ethnographic studies on users? experiences with novel health practices that are at odds with the dominant ideal of healthy citizenship and its critique. This will lead to a better, empirically-informed understanding of how users interact with new health technologies and contribute to safeguarding existing beneficial practices of healthy citizenship.