My Throat ”Tickles”
Bodies in Affective Discourse in Patient–Doctor Email Consultations
This article investigates the multiple ways in which bodies present themselves in email consultations (econs) between patients and general practitioners (GPs). The data stem from a larger qualitative research project on digital consultation in Denmark, focusing on the 65+ age group. Our analysis departs from a sociotechnical perspective by considering the introduction of the technology in question – the econ between the patient and GP – as creating new challenges and opportunities for participation in and the exchange of communication within this relationship. Our analysis leads to a six-category typology of bodies in affective discourse in econs: sensations, emotions, countings, medication, visuals and movements. The analysis brings together a theoretical perspective, the mutual shapings of the social and technological, with an affective practice-based approach. The econ produces what we call an “unruly data vitality”, as the data are accessed and recombined in the larger digital ecosystem of the Danish primary care sector.
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