New body-geographies: the embodied spaces of health and medical information on the internet

Hester Parr

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    83 Citations (Scopus)


    This paper deals with the rise of health and medical information on the Internet and considers the implications of this for a sociocultural geography of the body. The key purpose is to document how this information is communicated, consumed, and embodied, and also to evaluate how `healthy' and `ill' bodies constitute important geographies which are negotiated and contested in virtual space. There are two clear foci in the paper. First, using Foucauldian understandings of medicalisation, the notion of a `fourth spatialisation' of the medical gaze is evaluated in the context of the Internet as a new geography of health promotion which enables human subjects to `self- diagnose' and to `discipline' their bodies. Second, this argument is complicated by the use of empirical examples gathered from MS chat rooms, places in which communities of people gather to discuss and to contest medical knowledges which surround the `ill' body. The paper concludes with speculation on research pathways for a `new medical geography'.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)73-95
    Number of pages23
    JournalEnvironment and Planning D: Society and Space
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2002


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