Of deterritorialization, healthism and biosocialities: the companies’ marketing and users’ experiences of online genetics

Date: 
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Resource Type:
Mass Media Article | Reference Materials
Environment Type: 
Media and Technology, Websites, Mobile Apps, and Online Media
Audience: 
General Public | Scientists
Discipline: 
Health and medicine
Organization:
Albi University, Paris Descartes University
Description: 

Since the early 2000s, anybody can buy genetic tests, directly sold on the Internet. These tests provide information about susceptibilities to some diseases and/or about ancestry. Thus, this article deals with a new e-market, whose scientific basis (validity of the tests) and status (as medical devices or consumer goods) are currently controversial. On one hand, we describe the tests and the advertisement and marketing strategies used by the companies (we made an inventory of about 40); on the other hand, we discuss several aspects on the basis of interviews conducted with users: first, the entanglement of these strategies with the global context of healthism and the emphasis put on individuals’ empowerment regarding health decisions — “individualized biopolitics”. In addition, this article broaches the new kind of biosocial networks appearing in these tests’ wake: some users indeed gather on the basis of a genetic proximity, as is it put forward by their results.

Citation
ISSN:
1824-2049
Publication Name: 
Journal of Science Communication
Volume: 
10
Number: 
3
Document:

Team Members

Pascal DucournauPascal DucournauAuthor
Claire BeaudevinClaire BeaudevinAuthor

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