The Patient’s Body in Organizing Care: Examining Power/Knowledge Relations in Decision-making
InAcademy of Management Proceedings
Article in monograph or in proceedings
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Academy of Management Proceedings
In this paper we question how power/knowledge relations and their connection with the patient’s body are (re)constructed in the virtual world of online health communities. Research on bodies and organizations has tended to focus on the bodies of employees, and we contribute a better understanding of the ‘other’ bodies that organizations interact with and examine these bodies in a virtual context. We analyze excerpts from online conversations between patients and healthcare providers making decisions about treatment plans. Our results show that power/knowledge relations normalize patients’ bodily responses and legitimize certain knowledge bases over others. Moreover, the virtual context of the online communities creates a physical distance, which allows the patient to gain some control over the information that flows from her or his body. At the same time, the interpretation of this information is still bound by existing power/knowledge relations.
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