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Dr. Kent’s publication provides a historical contextualisation of health tracking and public health communication from the post-World War Two development of the welfare state, through the birth of neoliberalism, until today’s individualising practices of digital health tracking and quantification of bodies. Through an examination of these three phases of public health quantification of bodies, encompassing the socio-economic, cultural and political shifts since 1948, combined with the development and wide adoption of digital health and self-quantifying technologies, Dr. Kent traces the changing landscape and the dramatic implications this has had for shifting who is responsible for maintaining ‘good’ health.
This seminar will provide the opportunity to discuss Dr. Kent’s work as well as consider the theoretical and methodological implications of this contextual shift for research in health communication today.
Dr Rachael Kent is a scholar in the fields of digital health, digital media, and the digital economy. Dr. Kent’s academic research is interdisciplinary, examining the intersections of technology and the body, health and surveillance. Specifically, Dr. Kent focuses on how digital technology influences everyday mental and physical health.
Kent, R. (2021) 'From the Welfare State to Digital Self-Care: Historical Context of Tracking Public Health and Quantifying Bodies' In: Ajana, B. Braga, J. and Guidi, S., The Quantification of Bodies in Health: Multidisciplinary Perspectives. Emerald.
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Lecturer in Digital Economy & Society Education
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