Abstract: Self-tracking technologies are devices that allow users to collect and monitor various types of biometric data in the hope of achieving healthier habits and a better management of chronic conditions. As such, they are expected to play a key role in the new model of personalized healthcare that is being championed as a solution to the public healthcare crisis, and are attracting a surge of scholarly interest. But while proponents view self-tracking as a means of empowering citizens to take more responsibility for their health, critics anticipate that it will become a duty, and that the growing emphasis on personal responsibility is a threat to solidarity. This talk seeks to move beyond this debate, insofar as it fails to grasp the new types of subjectivities, socialities and understandings of the good life that are taking shape in self-tracking practices. Drawing on empirical philosophy and STS, and based on some preliminary research, I argue that in a number of self-tracking practices, people “enact” the values of autonomy, solidarity and authenticity in ways that diverge from these anticipated promises and fears. Furthermore, I suggest that these practices have a normative potential that should be articulated and fostered.
Tamar Sharon on “You are what you track: practicing autonomy, solidarity and authenticity in an age of personalized healthcare”
We are delighted to invite you to our next SSHM Seminar Series event in which Dr. Tamar Sharon will talk about her work on “You are what you track: practicing autonomy, solidarity and authenticity in an age ofpersonalized healthcare”. The Seminar will take place on Wednesday 19thFebruary, 12:00-13:30 in room K 6.63 (Directions: Take the lifts after the Great Hall to level 6, turn right out of the lifts and follow the corridor along, past K6.29 and through another set of doors and K6.63 is on your right)
Tamar Sharon is an assistant professor in the Department of Philosophy and the Science and Technologies Research Group at Maastricht University. She holds a PhD in interdisciplinary studies from Bar Ilan University (Israel). Her research lies at the intersections of philosophy of technology, STS and the sociology of biomedicine, and attempts to bring insights from these fields together in order to better articulate the multiple normativities at work in contemporary health practices.Tamar is currently a visiting research fellow at the SSHM Department at King’s, as part of her project “Healthy Creativity”, funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). This research looks at how users engage with emerging health technologies (e.g. genetic testing, social health networks, mobile health apps) in ways that resist and reinterpret dominant discourses of health as personal responsibility. Her book, Human Nature in an Age of Biotechnology: The Case for Mediated Posthumanism, was published this year with Springer.
All are welcome and there is no need to register.