The entire infrastructure and culture of medicine is being transformed by digital technology, the Internet and mobile devices. Cyberspace is now regularly used to provide medical advice and medication, with great numbers of sufferers immersing themselves within virtual communities. What are the implications of this medicalization of cyberspace for how people make sense of health and identity?

The Medicalization of Cyberspace is the first book to explore the relationship between digital culture and medical sociology. It examines how technology is redefining expectations of and relationships with medical culture, addressing the following questions:

  • How will the rise of digital communities affect traditional notions of medical expertise?
  • What will the medicalization of cyberspace mean in a new era of posthuman enhancements?
  • How should we regard hype and exaggeration about science in the media and how can this encourage public engagement with bioethics?

This book looks at the complex interactions between health, medicalization, cyberculture, the body and identity. It addresses topical issues, such as medical governance, reproductive rights, eating disorders, Web 2.0, and perspectives on posthumanism. It is essential reading for healthcare professionals and social, philosophical and cultural theorists of health.

chapter |16 pages

Introduction: Medicine in society

part |2 pages

PART I Cybermedical discourse

chapter 1|7 pages

Medicalization in cyberspace

chapter 2|13 pages

The cyborg body

chapter 3|9 pages

Cybermedicine and reliability discourse

chapter 4|11 pages

Virtual governance of health behaviour

part |2 pages

PART II Cybermedical bodies

chapter 6|10 pages

Partial prostitution

chapter 7|8 pages

Biological property rights in cyberspace

chapter 8|16 pages

The online Pro-Ana movement

chapter 9|10 pages

The bioethics of cybermedicalization