Resource title

Self-Monitoring - IT and the Construction of the Competent Patient

Resource image

image for OpenScout resource :: Self-Monitoring - IT and the Construction of the Competent Patient

Resource description

Initiatives in medical practice that are saidto re-insert the subject, thereby overcomingthe problems of objectifying practices inearlier times, often operate with a notion ofbodies and selves as pre-establishedentities. In this paper, I will try to showsome of the work it takes to produce orperform self-monitoring subjects whoparticipate in keeping their asthmaticbodies in control through the use of anonline control center. I argue that the bodiesin control and the competent selves relatedto this technology depend on theestablishment of a chronically ill body andon the decentering and incorporation of theclinic in everyday life. Passages into thebody are to be kept open in real-timethrough the involvement of materiallyheterogeneous arrangements.The distributed character of this workcreates and is dependent on an ambiguity inrelation to the question of agency. Who orwhat acts, decides, looks, knows and so on,is not necessarily defined or otherwise clearin the day-to-day use of the technology.Instead, agency becomes performed inparticular instances, where it might becomethe property of one part of the network oranother. Creating the asthmatic as a free,autonomous agent in this instance dependson blurring other nodes in the network inthe day-to-day use of this technology, thesebeing, the physician, the technology, andthe scientific set-up. As such, I argue thatagency in the form of the self-monitoringcompetent ill, is best understood as asuccessful performance of invisiblepassages and links that hook up bodies,other selves, science and medical practices.

Resource author

Henriette Langstrup Nielsen

Resource publisher

Resource publish date

Resource language


Resource content type


Resource resource URL

Resource license

Check the according license before adaptation. When adapting give credits to the original author.