E-scaped medicine? Information, reflexivity and health

S Nettleton, R Burrows

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article examines contemporary conceptualizations of the relationship between information, reflexivity and health in the information age. It suggests that the significance of policies that broaden access to the Internet will not fundamentally alter structural relations, nor will it alter the social epidemiology of health and welfare outcomes in the manner suggested by some advocates of policies aimed at constructing 'expert' citizens through processes of ever greater informatization. However, the Internet may lead to some profound changes at the level of social epistemology in that the proliferation of information and communication technologies will influence the means by which knowledge and information are generated and sustained. The Internet may well be contributing to the construction of a new medical cosmology - what we term e-scaped medicine - but this new cosmology will have to exist in a world in which patterns of structural inequality remain relatively impervious to its effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-185
Number of pages21
JournalCritical Social Policy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2003


  • e-government
  • human agency
  • Internet
  • reflexive modernization
  • social policy

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