Unequal Consumers: consumerist healthcare technologies and their creation of new inequalities

Laura M. Visser, Inge L. Bleijenbergh, Yvonne W.M. Benschop, Allard C.R. van Riel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

This article examines how consumerist technology creates new inequalities among patients in healthcare. More specifically, we analyse a communication technology that presents a case of consumerization of patients. Using critical diversity literature, we theorize how consumerism embedded in technology assumes a ‘universal individual’, creating a tension for healthcare professionals between acknowledging differences among patients while aiming for equal treatment of all patients. Based on our empirical analysis of so-called personal online health communities, we explore, at the micro level, how healthcare professionals deal with this tension. We identify four different practices: lacking awareness of differences, downplaying differences, discomfort around acknowledging differences and actively accommodating differences. We theorize how they ultimately all create new inequalities.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages20
JournalOrganization Studies
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 May 2018

Keywords

  • consumerism
  • healthcare
  • inequality
  • technology

Cite this

Visser, Laura M. ; Bleijenbergh, Inge L. ; Benschop, Yvonne W.M. ; van Riel, Allard C.R. / Unequal Consumers : consumerist healthcare technologies and their creation of new inequalities. In: Organization Studies. 2018.
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Unequal Consumers : consumerist healthcare technologies and their creation of new inequalities. / Visser, Laura M.; Bleijenbergh, Inge L.; Benschop, Yvonne W.M.; van Riel, Allard C.R.

In: Organization Studies, 01.05.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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